Tag Archives: National Championships

National Championships

By Al Myers



The plans have been made!  The Nationals has been sanctioned and scheduled for June 24th and 25th at Vermillion, Ohio.   Bob Geib will be the meet director for this event, which is the highlight competition each year for the USAWA.  The lifts have been chosen:

DAY 1 – June 24th

Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, One Hand
Clean and Push Press
Bent Over Row
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells

DAY 2 – June 25th

Clean and Jerk – One Arm
Pullover and Push
Jefferson Lift (Straddle Deadlift)

This is a great selection of lifts for our National Championships.  As per the rules of the USAWA, all lifts chosen for the Nationals must be approved by the USAWA Executive Board.  The EB looks for these things in approving the lifts – a good variety of different movements, lifts that can be performed by the vast majority of lifters, lifts that are easily loadable and officiated, and lifts that represent the USAWA in a good manner.   I like to see a combination of Olympic Lift, Power style lifts, a grip lift, and something that utilizes a specialized lifting skill.  This selection definitely represents those things!

An important date to remember is the closing date for entries.  This date is May 26th, 2017.  This means that your entry form and ENTRY FEE must be sent in by that time.

Nationals information sheet (PDF) – InfoSheetNationals2017

Nationals Entry Form (PDF) – EntryformNationals2017

National Championships

by Al Myers



Frank Ciavattone (left) and Jeff Ciavattone (right) had the highest One Arm Ciavattone Grip Deadlifts of the meet, a lift named after Frank. Frank finished with 115 KG with Jeff right behind him at 110 KG (photo courtesy of Cara Ciavattone Collins)

Frank Ciavattone (left) and Jeff Ciavattone (right) had the highest One Arm Ciavattone Grip Deadlifts of the meet, a lift named after Frank. Frank finished with 115 KG with Jeff right behind him at 110 KG (photo courtesy of Cara Ciavattone Collins)

One thing I can always count on is that Frank Ciavattone will promote an outstanding meet! Frank promoted the USAWA National Championships last weekend, and it was one of the smoothest ran National Meets we have ever had.  We had 19 lifters (4 women and 15 men) compete over the course of 6 lifts on one platform and one day, and was finished by 5 oclock!

There was an extremely tight race for the women’s overall.  Cassie Morrison edged out her friend Lindsey Beary on her last lift in the Trap Bar Deadlift. Only 2 adjusted points separeted them when it was done. Susan Sees was very close behind them by 10 points, and Jessica Hopps only 30 points back. On any given day any of these gals could have taken the overall!

Joe Ciavattone Jr. won the Men’s Best Overall Lifter title over James Fuller. Joe Jr. had several lifts he really excelled at – his big 105K Heels Together Clean and Press and his 4th attempt in the Continental Snatch at 93KG. James lifted very solid all day finishing with a personal record in the Trap Bar Deadlift at 277.5KG. Randy Smith finished 3rd overall despite hurting his elbow on the Cheat Curl and finishing the day not full strength.  Joe Ciavattone Sr. also got injured on the Cheat Curl, hurting his shoulder. But after a trip to the ER was able to make it back with his arm in a sling as the meet was winding down.  Jeff Ciavattone seems to get bigger and stronger each time I see him!  He lifted very well even though he told me with his work schedule he has not been able to train recently! Jeff and his dad Frank had a great showdown in the One Arm Ciavattone Grip Deadlift, with Jeff making 110KG and Frank making 115KG.  Big Frank still amazes me with his gripping strength!

Newcomer to Frank’s Barbell Club Rocky Morrison came in 5th Overall, which is quite an accomplishment in his first Nationals.  I really enjoyed meeting and visiting with Rocky.  He will be a great addition to our organization.  Dino Gym member Dean Ross made the longest drive to Boston, driving over 1000 miles from Oklahoma. Dean came into this meet as strong as I’ve seen him.  He finished with a great 162.5KG Trap Bar Deadlift.

Several lifters were not able to take all the lifts as they are recovering from injuries and/or surgeries. This included Frank, Chad Ullom, Denny Habecker, and Aidan. However, they still performed very well in the lifts they did and supported our biggest meet of the year.  For that – they need applauded!

I want to really thank Frank, his family, and his club for all the work they did in putting on this Championships.  The loaders did a great job and helped make the meet move along at the pace it did.  The food the night before and after the meet was fantastic!  Frank knows how to be a great host!

Meet Results:

2016 USAWA National Championships
Balch School
Norwood, MA
June 25th, 2016

Meet Director: Frank Ciavattone

Announcer: Al Myers

Scorekeeper: Chad Ullom

Officials (3 official system used): Joe Ciavattone Sr., Denny Habecker, Frank Ciavattone, Dennis Mitchell, Chad Ullom

Loaders: Peter Vouno, Wade Marchand, Cream McDonald, Matt Traitti

Lifts: Continental Snatch, Cheat Curl, Clean and Press-Heels Together, Pullover and Press, Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip One Arm, Trap Bar Deadlift


Cassie Morrison 20 192  35 37.5 31.5 40 47.5-R 120 311.5 284.3
Lindsey Beary 20 188 35 40 37.5 40 52.5-R 100 305 282.5
Susan Sees 53 219 25 35 35 45 42.5-R 100 282.5 273.4
Jessica Hopps 32 187 30 30 30 37.5 55-R 85 267.5 248.3

Extra Lifts for Record:
Lindsey Beary: DL-CG, Right Arm 57.5
Lindsey Beary: Continental Snatch 40
Susan Sees: DL-CG, Right Arm 45


Joe CiavattoneJr. 23 215 85  92.5 105 125 90-R 240 737.5 633.7
James Fuller 44 250 80 105 75 100 100-R 277.5 737.5 613.7
Randy Smith 61 198 57.5 75 50 60 90-R 150 482.5 528.4
Jeff Ciavattone 36 259 72.5 85 67.5  95 110-R 240 670 521.8
Rocky Morrison 54 295 55 67.5 65 80 85-R 215 567.5 477.4
Dean Ross 73 257 35 57.5 40 70 70-L 162.5 435 455.7
James Morrison 17 160 40 50 45 60 60-R 147.5 402.5 431.0
Art Montini 88 172 20 32.5 25 45 55-L 90 267.5 388.1
Dennis Mitchell 84 150 13.5 33 10.5 35 43-L 90 225 346.5
Bob Geib 73 268 25 30 35 0 60-R 100 250 256.4
Joe CiavattoneSr. 47 230 70 72.5 142.5 127.2
Frank Ciavattone 61 302 115-R 115 101.5
Denny Habecker 73 192 80 —- 80 98.0
Chad Ullom 44 249 100-L 100 83.5
Aidan Habecker 12 120 22.5 22.5 37.3

Extra Lifts for Record:
Joe Ciavattone Jr: Continental Snatch 93

Notes: BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts recorded in kilograms. R and L designate right and left arms. TOT is total kilograms lifted. PTS are overall points adjusted for bodyweight and age.

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Senior 20-39: Cassie Morrison
Woman Master 40+: Susan Sees
Mens Master 40-44: James Fuller
Mens Master 45-49: Joe Ciavattone Sr.
Mens Master 50-54: Rocky Morrison
Mens Master 60-64: Randy Smith
Mens Master 70-74: Dean Ross
Mens Master 80-84: Dennis Mitchell
Mens Master 85-89: Art Montini
Mens Junior: James Morrison
Mens Senior 20-39: Joe Ciavattone Jr.
Womens Overall Best Lifter: Cassie Morrison
Mens Overall Best Lifter: Joe Ciavattone Jr.
Best Club: Frank’s Barbell Club

National Championships

by Al Myers


The 2010 USAWA National Championships was also promoted by Denny and Judy Habecker. This shows Denny "busy at work" calculating the day's results while Frank Ciavattone is "looking over his shoulder" to make sure he doesn't make any mistakes!

Denny Habecker, the USAWA National Championships meet promoter, has just released the entry form for this years Championships.  It will be held the last weekend of June, which has become the traditional time of the year for the National Championships.  Denny is a very seasoned Championship promotor and has promoted several Championship events.  Every one that he has promoted that I have attended has always been done with upmost professionalism.  Denny always makes his events truly for the lifters.  Make sure to get this date on your meet calendar right now!

Schedule of  Events

Venue: Lebanon Senior Center , 710 Maple St.  Lebanon, Pa.  

Weigh-ins:7:30 A.M. to 8:30 A.M. –Saturday and Sunday

Lifting starts:  9:30 A.M.

Lifts: Saturday – June 29, 2013

Deadlift – One Arm
Clean & Press – 12” Base
Pullover – Staight Arm
Continental To Belt

Lifts: Sunday – June 30, 2013

Snatch – One Arm
Pullover and Push
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip

Entry Fee – $55.00
T-Shirt Included

Awards: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each weight class and Age  divisions for Masters, Juniors, and Women, Based on total poundage lifted. Best Lifter Awards for each age group in Masters, Juniors, Senior [20-39], and Women by Formula.

INFO PAGE – 2013 USAWA Nationals – info page

ENTRY FORM – 2013 USAWA Nationals – Entry

USAWA History – 1988 Nationals

by Al Myers

By now most USAWA lifters know that this year is a BIG YEAR for the USAWA.  At this year’s big event in Las Vegas this summer we will be celebrating the 25 year history of the USAWA and of  the USAWA National Championships.  I have made up several “special awards”  to recognize lifters who have had significant involvement in the USAWA National Championships through the years.  The awards are already done, and just waiting to be presented!  I also am going to have some posters made up to highlight the 25 year history of the USAWA. On this poster it will contain ALL of the past USAWA logos.  Each lifter that competes in Nationals will get one of these posters as part of their entry fee, and I will have more available for sale as well.

Nationals is now less than 2 months away.  I plan to take these next couple of months and “highlight” each of the past National Championships in our history.  These meets are a big part of our history, and I think it is only right to recognize some of the lifters who helped get us to where we are today. 

The following came from the Strength Journal written by Bill Clark following the first USAWA Nationals (September 10th, 1988):

Tireless John Vernacchio directed and lifted and led his Valley Forge team to first place in a one-man demonstration of dynamic energy July 9-10 in Plymouth Meeting, PA. as the new United States All-Round Weightlifting Association staged its first-ever National All-Round Championships. 

Vernacchio thus completed his second in a three-sport round of national lifting championships.  In 1987, he was the meet director (and organizer and lifter) for the National Masters Weightlifting Championships.  In 1989, he’ll do the same for the National Masters Powerlifting meet for the USPF.

The meet was staged in the George Washington Motor Lodge (home of the other two nationals masters competitions), a fine venue which offers both lodging and lifting in the same building.  Since John now owns all kinds of harness, we can assume that sometime in the future, we’ll see the IAWA Worlds here.  The field was only 18 – but the lifters came from Missouri, Texas, Iowa, New York, Ohio, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  A field of 18 may not sound great, but remember that the first National Masters Meet held in Columbia, MO in 1975 drew only 16.  Now we’re looking for 200-plus at the World Meet in Florida this December and 27 nations are now involved. A dozen years from now, the all-rounds could be huge.

Steve Schmidt proved to be the best lifter in the meet, winning for the second time in the hip lift at Phil Anderson’s expense.  Phil won the first meeting between the two strongmen in the nine-eventer against England last November.  But Steve evened matters in January at the Zercher Meet in Columbia, MO making a 3100 harness lift to catch his Texas rival.

Best master was Art Montini.  The 60 year-old Montini won the open 165-lb class with a 3165 total and came up with an adjusted total of 4662.42 points.  He edged Vernacchio, who had 4636.47 points, and struggled with a 1050 hip lift when at least 1400 was his goal.


1988 USAWA National Championships
July 9-10, 1988
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: John Vernacchio

Lifts: Leg Press, Clean & Press – heels together, Front Squat, Hand & Thigh, Bench Press – feet in air, Deadlift – one hand, Zercher, Hip Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Steve Schmidt, Missouri
2. Phil Anderson, Texas
3. Joe Garcia, Missouri
4. John Vernacchio, Pennsylvania
5. John McKean, Pennsylvania
6. Dan Ciccarelli, Pennsylvania
7. Italo Bonacci, Pennsylvania
8. Gonzalo Gonzalez, New York
9. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
10. Bill Clark, Missouri

Best Lifter Awards:
Men Open – Steve Schmidt
Men Master – Art Montini
Men Junior – Casey Clark
Men 40-44 Age Group – John McKean
Men 45-49 Age Group – Bill DiCiccio, Sr.
Men 50-54 Age Group – John Vernacchio
Men 55-59 Age Group – Gonzalo Gonzalez
Men 60-64 Age Group – Art Montini
Men 65-69 Age Group – Harrison Skeete
Team Champion – Valley Forge Club

I also want to mention of a few other USAWA members who competed in this FIRST-EVER USAWA National Championships.  Our USAWA Postal Meet Director John Wilmot was a participant as well as the famous all-round strength historian Tom Ryan. Both of these guys are still very involved with the USAWA today, and their involvement with the first ever Nationals shows that their involvement has been there from the very beginning.  I sure would like to see these two guys (as well as others that attended this first Nationals) make it this year to Vegas to help celebrate with us!!

Nationals Update

by Al Myers

Chad Ullom (left) has agreed to be the "PARTY PLANNER" for our National Championships in Las Vegas. I have traveled with Chad several times, and know from experience, that he knows how to have a fun time!

Plans for the 2012 USAWA National Championships in beautiful Las Vegas are underway. The date has been set (June 30th), the venue secured (Average Broz Gym), and entry forms have been available (on this website) for a couple of months now. Everything is going according to the plan I’ve laid out.  Now it’s time for YOU to send in your entry to me!! So far I have only two entries in hand – myself and Thom Van Vleck.  All details of entering are explained clearly on the entry form.  Just one thing I want to remind you of – make your checks or money orders out to the USAWA and not me.  This is a USAWA sponsored event and all income/expense is going through the USAWA bank account.

I have picked a place for our “host hotel”. It is the Silverton Hotel and Casino.  It is best just to go to their website to get the information for making a reservation.  Here is the link: http://www.silvertoncasino.com/

The Silverton is not part of “the strip”. It is located close to John’s Gym, which is the site of the meet.   I would guess it is only half a mile or so away.  So if you want to “loosen up” before the meet with a little light walking, the Silverton is close enough to the meet site that you can make the hike.  Chad and I are going to be renting a car while we are there, so if anyone needs a ride we can run a shuttle service back and forth.  Also, taxis are plentiful in Vegas which is another option to get to the meet and back.  We do not have a “package deal” with the Silverton so don’t ask for it. This is a large place and I didn’t even bother to check into any special arrangement for our small group.  I didn’t want them to laugh at me. Their rates are very reasonable (sixty nine during the week, and eight nine on the weekends).  This fee is for double occupancy and even includes breakfast!  (look on their website under “resort specials”).  They provide free shuttle transportation from McCarran International Airport as well.  The Silverton adjoins a huge Bass Pro Shop and has many restaurants within it.  I will pick a restaurant for our Friday evening meal and meeting, which I will announce at a later date.  I would recommend that you make your reservation as soon as possible to ensure this rate.  Of course if you want to stay somewhere else, that is your choice but if we all stay at the same place it will make it easier for us to “get together” throughout our stay.

Our USAWA Vice President Chad Ullom has “stepped up” to be our activity coordinator and PARTY PLANNER.  That’s what Vice Presidents are for – planning the fun!  Chad is working on several  “entertainment activities” that we can do as a group.  I know he is looking into a bus tour of Hoover Dam the day following the meet for anyone interested, and a special evening out Saturday night following the meet. This will be in place of the banquet.  He promised me that he will let me know when he gets these activities finalized and that he will write an announcement for the website with all the details.

I am working on the T-Shirt design at this time.  This is causing me lots of indecision. Since this is such a BIG EVENT for the USAWA, it being our 25th Anniversary and all,  I want it to be the PERFECT meet shirt and can’t make up my mind on the design. I have a few good ideas and think I will “lock on” to a design soon.  I have three criteria for the shirt – recognize 25 years of the USAWA, highlight Las Vegas, and make it a “lifter’s shirt” with a lifting logo.  I want this to be a favorite T-shirt of the lifters – the one you grab out of the drawer full of other T-shirts to wear.  The problem is that I’m not artistic in anyway, and have problems making things aesthetic in appearance. I’m not a “fluff guy”, so I may need to ask Thom his opinion on this.

I am getting excited about this year’s Nationals. It will be one that you DON’T WANT TO MISS!  I will give out more details as the plans come along.   But NOW’S the time to send me your entry form and book your Hotel reservations.

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