Tag Archives: USAWA History

JWC Redesigned Logo

by Thom Van Vleck

The New JWC logo.

The Jackson Weightlifting Club is one of the oldest Clubs in the USAWA…and that’s saying a lot because there are some old clubs!  To me, what sets the JWC apart is it very much is a family club.  Sure, there are lots of non family members, but the core has been my family and for over 85 years there has been a member of my family at the lead.  While I hope that continues, I just hope it’s around another 85 years regardless of who is running it!  I am pretty proud to keep the tradition going of lifting for not only strength of body, but strength of mind, spirit, and character.  That’s why on the logo below that adorns the front of the shirt it says “Strength, Faith, Honor, and Wisdom”.  I would say that lifting is more about life than winning awards for the JWC…..but awards are nice, too!

Logo that's on the front of the new JWC shirts

The anvil that is on the both sides is a silhouette of the Original “Grandpa Jackson” Anvil that sits in my gym.  Many will remember the story I’ve probably told too many times of my Great Grandfather lifting that anvil to impress his kids, then my grandfather turning to weight training to achieve that same feat….then that turning into a tradition of lifting in our family.  And yes, 1928 was the year my grandfather started lifting with his future brother in law and his friends that led to the formation of the the JWC.  While the name “Jackson Weightlifting Club” wasn’t coined until 1957, I consider 1928 as the date the idea was born…..which was more important than the name.  That idea was a man could use weights to make himself better in all ways….not just physical strength.

The "old" logo in use since the 90's.

The Logo drawn by my Uncle Phil in the late 50's that inspired all the future logos.

Here are the old logos just to let you compare.  I have tried to stay true to the original as I want to always honor those that came before me and paved the way.  I know I’ve shared the symbolism of it before, but since I’ve made an update, I wanted to share again.  I plan on having the shirts available at my Highland Games in October and the Old Time Strongman Championships this fall (looking at a December date).  So if you like them, come and compete and get one as a meet shirt!  I know a shirt won’t make my lift more (well….unless it was a bench shirt…but who likes those!)…but when I wear this shirt, I feel extra inspired to not let the tradition down!

Wayne Smith: 1932-2012

by Thom Van Vleck

Wayne Smith deadlifting the front end of a Volkswagon. This was one of Wayne's favorite photos.

Got word that one of our USAWA brothers and long time Jackson Weightlifting Club member Wayne Smith passed away.  Wayne was a guy that goes way back.  He did the “Odd Lifting” back in the 50’s and 60’s when Ed Zercher kept the records.  Smith even predates Bill Clark in his lifting career.  There are a couple of good stories on Wayne Smith archived in the website if you’d like to brush up on this great lifter.



The last meet Wayne attended was last year’s USAWA Nationals held in Kirksville, Missouri.  Wayne had to enjoy the meet as a spectator but he told me at one point how he itched to get on the platform.  He even said he hoped to get back into shape to do so!

I have many stories on Wayne, he was a unique individual that loved his weightlifting.  He encouraged me a lot and since he never had kids of his own, I think in some way he adopted me.  He would take photos around bragging on me and it made me want to live up to his stories!   Which made me train harder as sometimes Wayne could make a guy look too good!  But he always spoke highly of his friends, that was just him.  The last time I visited him he insisted that I go around the nursing home to introduce me to everyone.  He was a friend to all.

Wayne will be missed.  His funeral will be next Monday in Kirksville.  I you have a kind word about him you would like to pass on, send it to me at tvanvleck@yahoo.com.  I will make sure his family and friends get it.  His legend will live on, not because he was the greatest lifter but because he was the greatest friend.

USAWA History – 2011 Nationals

by Al Myers

A full meet report of the 2011 USAWA National Championships is available on the website: http://www.usawa.com/national-championships-4/ 


2011 USAWA National Championships
June 25th, 2011
Willard Elementary School
Kirksville, Missouri

Meet Director: Thom Van Vleck
Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker
Announcer: Al Myers
Loaders: Mitch Ridout, Tedd Van Vleck
Photographer: Flossy Mitchell
Sound System: Brett Kerby
Officials: Steve Schmidt, Joe Garcia, Randy Smith, Denny Habecker, Dennis Mitchell

Lifts: Snatch – Dumbbell, One Arm, Curl – Cheat, Pullover and Push, Continental to Chest – Fulton Bar, Deadlift – 12″ base, Zercher Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Larry Traub, Indiana
2. Eric Todd, Missouri
3. Chad Ullom, Kansas
4. Sam Cox, Kansas
5. Sammy Ibrahim, Missouri
6. Randy Smith, Michigan
7. John O’Brien, Missouri
8. Dave Glasgow, Kansas
9. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
10. Joe Garcia, Missouri

Women: Top Three Placings
1. Amber Glasgow, Kansas
2. Susan Sees, Ohio
3. Helen Kahn, Michigan

Best Lifter Awards:
Overall Womens – Amber Glasgow
Overall Mens – Larry Traub
Men Junior – Sammy Ibrahim
Men Senior – Eric Todd
Women Senior – Amber Glasgow
Women Overall Master – Susan Sees
Men Overall Master – Larry Traub
Men Master 40-44 – John O’Brien
Men Master 55-59 – Larry Traub
Men Master 65-69 – Denny Habecker
Men Master 70-74 – Mike Murdock
Men Master 75-79 – Rudy Bletscher
Team Award – Ledaig Heavy Athletics Club

USAWA History – 2010 Nationals

by Al Myers

A full meet report of the 2010 USAWA National Championships is available on the website: http://www.usawa.com/national-championships-2/


2010 USAWA National Championships
June 26th & 27th, 2010
Habecker’s Gym
Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: Denny and Judy Habecker
Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker
Loaders: Terry Barlet, Don Brandt, John Horn
Announcers: Denny Habecker, Judy Habecker, Aidan Habecker
Officials: Chad Ullom, Scott Schmidt, Barry Bryan, Randy Smith, Dennis Mitchell, Art Montini, Frank Ciavattone

Lifts: Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 bar, 2″, one hand, Pullover and Push, Clean and Jerk – One Arm, Trap Bar Deadlift, Snatch – From Hang, Deadlift – One Arm, Clean and Press, Zercher Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Al Myers, Kansas
2. Chad Ullom, Kansas
3. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
4. Randy Smith, Michigan
5. Scott Schmidt, Ohio
6. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
7. Kohl Hess, Pennsylvania
8. Dennis Mitchell, Ohio
9. Dale Friesz, Virginia
10. Barry Bryan, Pennsylvania

Best Lifter Awards:
Men Overall – Al Myers
Men Master – Al Myers
Men Open – Chad Ullom
Men Junior – Kohl Hess
Men 40-44 Age Group – Al Myers
Men 50-54 Age Group – Barry Bryan
Men 55-59 Age Group – Randy Smith
Men 65-69 Age Group – Denny Habecker
Men 75-79 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell
Men 80-84 Age Group – Art Montini

USAWA History – 2009 Nationals

by Al Myers

A full meet report of the 2009 USAWA National Championships is available on the website:  http://www.usawa.com/national-championships/


2009 USAWA National Championships
June 20th, 2009
Dino Gym
Abilene, Kansas

Meet Director: Al Myers
Scorekeeper: Scott Tully
Loaders: Darren Barnhart, Ryan Batchman
Officials: Bill Clark, Thom Van Vleck, Mark Mitchell

Lifts: Snatch – one arm, Cheat Curl, Clean & Jerk – Fulton Bar, Deadlift – 2 Bars, Pullover and Press, Back Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Al Myers, Kansas
2. Mike McBride, Missouri
3. Chad Ullom, Kansas
4. Joe Garcia, Missouri
5. Randy Smith, Michigan
6. Rudy Bletscher, Kansas
7. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
8. Ben Edwards, Kansas
9. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
10. Tim Piper, Illinois

Best Lifter Awards:
Men Overall – Al Myers
Men Open – Al Myers
Men Master – Al Myers
Men Top Total – Al Myers
Men 20-39 Age Group – Mike McBride
Men 40-44 Age Group – Al Myers
Men 50-54 Age Group – Randy Smith
Men 55-59 Age Group – Joe Garcia
Men 65-69 Age Group – Denny Habecker
Men 70-74 Age Group – Rudy Bletscher
Men 75-79 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell
Men 80-84 Age Group – Art Montini

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