by Al Myers
An amazing 38 new USAWA Records were broken or set at the most recent Club Challenge in Ambridge. The Kohl “Young Samson” Hess lead the way with 7 records. Kohl has made great strength gains since I last seen him lift at Worlds in October, undoubtedly the result of hard work and good coaching from Denny Habecker. Kohl is only 15 – but weighing a solid 272 pounds he is built like a grown man.
A few more meets like this and this will be a RECORD YEAR for records. Records that impressed me the most were these: Kohl Hess and his 407# Jefferson Lift with the Fulton Bar, John McKean and his 353# Jefferson Lift with the Fulton Bar (more than he did over 20 years ago at the 1988 Nationals with a regular bar), Ernie Beath and his HUGE 201 pound French Press (he had no problem touching his neck since Big Ernie’s neck goes to his ears), Chad Ullom doing 265# in the Reflex Clean and Push Press, Art “the Man of Steel” Montini benching 135# in the Andy Goddard Postal (and he INSISTED on keeping his feet up even though that is not required for this meet), and Scott Schmidt doing 358# on the 2″ 2 Bar Vertical Bar Deadlift (the TOPS of the meet and the bars were VERY slick!).
The RECORDS RACE between Art and Denny is heating up, with Art taking advantage of Denny’s absence at this meet due to illness. Art has increase his TOTAL NUMBER of USAWA records to 353, which is one more than Denny had after Worlds, but Denny still has the lead with 361 TOTAL RECORDS.
An interesting lift we did at this meet was the Reflex Clean and Push Press. This lift was introduced many years ago by John Schubert (and is also known unofficially as the Schubert Clean and Push Press). It is like a normal Clean and Push Press but the bar must not come to a stop after the clean, and must be immediately put over head with a push press. This adds great difficulty to the lift as the lifter can not “collect himself” after the clean to prepare for the Push Press. Also, since you can’t move your feet during a push press you must have your feet in good position after the clean. Scott Schmidt is a very experienced Olympic Lifter and great presser so this lift came very natural for him. Scott had just competed at the Arnold in the Master’s Olympic Meet and didn’t even prepare for this lift, but still put up a big lift. Check out this YouTube Video of Scott showing how to properly do the Reflex Clean and Push Press.