Tag Archives: USAWA Records

A RECORD Record Day

by Al Myers

Jesse watching and judging his daughter Gabby performing a 80 pound 12" base squat at the 2012 Jobes Steel Jungle Record Day.

Jesse Jobe really put “on a show” with his first USAWA promotion – the Jobe’s Steel Jungle Record Day.  It is exciting to see a new enthusiast club like his in the USAWA.  And on top of it all – the lifters in his club are exactly the type of lifters that fit into the USAWA’s philosophy. These guys (and gals) like good ole fashioned hard training, and don’t mind trying something that might be a little “out of their comfort zone”.   Plus I can attest to their drug-free status as I’ve now had a chance to drug test most of them (with the exception of the KING APE himself, Jesse, who is next on my list!!). 

When Jesse announced in his writeup that all together they set a total of 188 new USAWA records in their record day, I was a little skeptical.  Because if this was the case, it would make their record day a RECORD record day.  Never before has this many records been set in a single day in the USAWA, and that covers 100’s of meets over the past 25 years.  You think of all the big meets put on by Howard Prechtel of Cleveland,  Frank Ciavattone in Boston,  the two iron masters in Pittsburgh, Art Montini & John McKean, Denny Habecker in Lebanon, John Vernacchio in Philly, and Bill Clark in Columbia.  You would think the honor of this would be with one of those legendary promoters, but here comes the Jobes Steel Jungle!!!  What a way to make an impression in the USAWA!!!

I finally got the “final count” done on the number of records and it came to 181 individual records and 3 team records. The reason it wasn’t the 188 that Jesse claimed was because there were several cases of the SAME GUYS breaking a record in the same weight class.  So in a sense, a USAWA record got broken TWICE in the same day!! (but it only officially counts as one record) I was amazed at the number of records individual lifters set – newcomer Tim Songster led the way with 33,  Jesse had 31, Gabby 24, Alison 21, Troy Goetsch 17, Corey Kenkel 16, Mac Capello & Bryan Benzel 9, Darren Barnhart 4, Josh Haggin 3, and poor Scott Tully only managed 1 (but 1 is all it takes to get “in the book” for the day).  I won’t go into individual highlights as there were many.  Several ALL TIME USAWA records were set, as well as many NOTABLE performances.  I’ll save those stories for some other day.  But here is a listing of the records set if you are intested: 2012 Jobes Steel Jungle RD

I did a count of current records from individual events/competitions in the Record List.  Of course, this listing is only for CURRENT RECORDS and doesn’t represent the actual records set at the time, which would have been higher.  However, I do feel that the 181 records set at the 2012 Jobes Steel Jungle Record Day  is the most EVER  performed in a single event/competition in our history.  I am going to claim this as a record of records. 


 181  2012 Jobes Steel Jungle RD  Jesse Jobe
 142  1995 IAWA Worlds  Howard Prechtel
 127  1991 IAWA Worlds  John Vernacchio
 124  2012 Dino Gym RD  Al Myers
 118  2003 USAWA Nationals  Dick Hartzell & Carl LaRosa
 112  2004 USAWA Nationals  John Vernacchio
112 2002 IAWA Worlds Denny Habecker
109 2005 USAWA Nationals  Dick Hartzell & Carl LaRosa
105 1990 USAWA Nationals  Attilo Alachio
102 1999 USAWA Nationals  Art Montini & John McKean

COMING TOMORROW – the update of the Records Race, which has been “shook up” from all of this recent record activity.  One has to wonder if all of this recent record setting might have changed the rankings? Plus I’ll give the updates of the lifters who are “on the fringe” of making the CENTURY CLUB in the USAWA.

Century Club

by Al Myers

Joe Garcia is moving up the Record List Count faster than anyone else! This past year he has went from 9th to 5th. This picture is from the 2011 Heavy Lift Nationals in York, PA where Joe added another USAWA record in the Hand and Thigh with this 1400 pound lift. Joe has more H & T records (17 total) than anyone else, everywhere from the 90 KG class to the 110 KG class.

A couple of years ago  I tagged the term “Century Club” as a way of identifying lifters who currently hold over 100 USAWA Records.  It has been a while since I have given an update on these record-setting lifters, so I think it is time I revisit this topic again.  I believe it has been a year (after last year’s National Championship) that I gave my last update on the current members in this Century Club.  I know I have highlighted the “records race” between Denny and Art a few times since, but now since Denny has stretched his lead over Art 401 USAWA records to  Art’s 378 USAWA Records, the drama with this has been  subdued and the  records race has taken a seat on the sidelines until Art starts to make “a run” on Denny.  

The Century Club is an ever-changing list, and it changes constantly.  It is based on CURRENT records, so it is possible to be on the list and then if some of your records are broken, you may fall out of the club.  I sadly report this has been the case this past year.  John Vernacchio’s record count has fallen to 97 records,  and now he is out of the Century Club.  No one new has joined since Scott Schmidt in the fall of 2009!  Scott was sitting at the number 20 spot when he made the Century Club in December 2009, climbed to spot 17 after last year’s Nationals, and now resides at the 15 spot.  By John falling off the list, the Century Club now stands at 19 members.  Who will be the next to join??  Two Dino Gym members are “knocking at the door” of accomplishing this.  Rudy Bletscher just BARELY missed the list this time as he currently stands at 99 USAWA Records.  Chad Ullom made a big push on his USAWA records this past year and now has 97 records.  With Chad hitting the Masters Class next year that will open up the record book for him to set more records as he will then be eligible for age group records.  I got my money on both of these guys to make the Century Club this summer! 

There were some changes in the orders and number counts, but the same names hold the Century Club down.  The top four spots on the list remained the same.  The biggest dropper was Bill Clark, as he dropped from the number 5 spot to 10th with only a decrease of records from 214 to 199.  I know the reason for Bill’s decrease in records as I’ve been lifting with this guy in meets all winter and have watched him break several of Bill’s records.  I’m talking about Mike Murdock.  The biggest increaser on the list is our USAWA Records Chairman Joe Garcia.  Joe added several new records this past year and moved from the number 9 spot to 5th overall with 226 records.  Dennis Mitchell notched up one spot to number 6. Take notice of  all the USAWA Hall of Famers who are members of the CENTURY CLUB (marked with a *).

Century Club

1.  401 Denny Habecker *
2.  378 Art Montini *
3.  274 Al Myers
4.  247 John McKean *
5.  226 Joe Garcia *
6.  223 Dennis Mitchell *
7.  214 Noi Phumchaona *
8.  206  Frank Ciavattone *
9.  201 Bob Hirsh *
10. 199 Bill Clark *
11. 171 Howard Prechtel *
12. 138  Dale Friesz *
13. 134 Ed Schock
14. 132  Jim Malloy *
15. 131  Scott Schmidt *
16. 123  John Monk
17. 117  Mary McConnaughey
18. 114   Chris Waterman *
19. 106  Joshua Monk

USAWA Records from Past Nationals

by Al Myers

Denny Habecker "padded" his lead in the most USAWA Records set at the National Championships with this Zercher Lift of 231 pounds. It broke the record held by Andy Komorny from the 2003 Nationals of 230 pounds.

As promised, today I am going to highlight those USAWA Records that were set at National Championships. To me setting a record at Nationals is a much harder endeavor.  The pressure of competition is on, the judging is the best it gets, and the day of competition is long.  It is not like a record day where you can warm up as you please, and then take your time to pace yourself for a maximum effort in achieving a new record.  That is easy compared to “taking down” a record on a big stage like the National Championships.  Truthfully, there should be a separate list just for records established at the Nationals because of the difficulty it takes of getting a record at this meet. When I watch the Olympics I always notice that there are Olympic Records (which are separate from American and World Records) for the events.  I’m sure the reasons for this are the same as what we have -because it is way more difficult to set a new World or American Record at the Olympics, and there is merit to setting an Olympic Record as well.  (Maybe I can talk our Record Chairman Joe Garcia in setting up a different Record List just for records set at the National Championships???)   Irregardless, I looked over our USAWA Record List and was surprised how many records we have “on the books” from National Championships.  I counted 1843 records (out of close to a total record count of 10,000) that were established at past National Championships.  That number is approaching close to 20% of all records set.  I didn’t think it would be that high, but when I looked it over I could tell that the quality of these records was very high.   Overall, I counted 169 lifters who have possession of at least 1 USAWA Record that was set in the Championships. Now onto the lifters that own the most!


1 94 Denny Habecker
2 77 Art Montini
3 73 Dennis Mitchell
4 (tie) 63 Noi Phumchaona
4 (tie) 63 Howard Prechtel
6 57 John McKean
7 54 Frank Ciavattone
8 51 Jim Malloy
9 50 Dale Friesz
10 37 Randy Smith

Now that is a lineup of “heavy hitters” in the USAWA!  Honorable mention should go to these lifters who just missed the list: Chris Waterman (36 records), Joe Garcia (34 records), and Bob Geib (34 records).  I was surprised about some great USAWA lifters who didn’t make the list – but the reason was that these lifters didn’t compete in enough Championships to get their numbers added up.  Longevity counts for something!  The lift from Nationals that has the most records in it is the Clean and Press, heels together with a count of 90.  The next four were the Pullover and Push (86), One Arm Snatch (85), the One Arm Deadlift (82) and the Zercher Lift (79).

Records From Nationals

by Al Myers

It was great to see Bob Geib back in action at the USAWA Nationals. In this picture Bob is setting a new USAWA Record with his 320# 12 inch base deadlift.

It is always exciting to see new USAWA Records set or broken.  As our Record List gets longer and longer, getting new records becomes more difficult. The USAWA has been accumulating records for close to 25 years, and the USAWA  Record’s Director Joe Garcia has been the “man in charge” of this for nearly this entire period. That’s a lot of entering numbers!!  In fact at the Annual National Meeting, Joe announced that the USAWA Record List is approaching 10,000 records in length!  The lifters at this year’s Nationals “did their job” of adding to this list.  89 new USAWA Records were established.  I looked back at the list and believe it or not, but this year’s National Championships made the TOP TEN of ALL-TIME amongst the number of records in the Record List from National Championships! That is quite an accomplishment considering that we have now had 24 USAWA National Championships, and several Championships with more lifters and more lifts contested than this one.  That goes to show the quality of lifting that we had at this years Championship.  Of the lifts contested at this Championship, the One Arm Dumbbell Snatch provided the most records with 24 Records.  The Zercher Lift provided the fewest new records with 9.   Susan Sees and Helen Kahn tied with the most new records set in the Women’s Division with 9 records each. In the Men’s Division, Bob Geib and John O’Brien tied with 8 new records each.  I always notice when old records (those set years ago) get broken.  Dean Ross had this distinction of breaking the OLDEST RECORD with his 240# Zercher Lift in the 65+, 125+kg Class.  The previous record was held be Buck Harris at 220 pounds set at the 89 Nationals on June 25th, 1989.  Now lets take a look at the TOP TEN Nationals considering number of USAWA records:

1 119 2003 Nationals  Hartzell & LaRosa  Youngstown, OH
2 117 2004 Nationals  John Vernacchio  Lansdale, PA
3 116 2005 Nationals  Hartzell & LaRosa  Youngstown, OH
4 108 1990 Nationals  Attilio Alacchi  Akron, OH
5 107 1999 Nationals  Montini & McKean  Ambridge, PA
6 97 1997 Nationals  Clark & Garcia  Columbia, MO
7 95 1998 Nationals  Frank Ciavattone  Mansfield, MA
8 94 1989 Nationals  John Vernacchio  Plymouth Meeting, PA
9 90 1995 Nationals  Clark & Garcia  Columbia, MO
10 (tie) 89 2000 Nationals  Denny Habecker  Lebanon, PA
10 (tie) 89 2000 Nationals  Thom Van Vleck  Kirksville, MO

I would like to make the comment that this year (2011 National Championships) is the ONLY EVENT on this list where the meet contained less than 20 lifters.  That is something the lifters at this meet should be proud of! 

New USAWA records established at the 2011 USAWA National Championship – NationalsRecords

Coming tomorrow – The TOP TEN INDIVIDUALS who have records in the USAWA Record List that were set at a National Championship.

USAWA Records 2010

by Al Myers

What a year for broken records!!!  After tallying the last chance for any 2010 USAWA records  from the National Postal Meet, the USAWA ended up with a total of 609 records.  This is less than 100 from the all time best of 702 records set in 2005.  This is the third best year ever.   Maybe next year the “record for records” will go down.  Let’s hope so.  The following is a listing of the lifters who set the most USAWA records (20 or more)  in 2010.

Individual Records 2010

1.   62 – Al Myers

2.  43 – Chad Ullom

3.  35 – Kohl Hess

4.  30 – Rudy Bletscher

4.  30 – Thom Van Vleck

6.  28 – Dave Glasgow

7.  25 – Mike Murdock

7.  25 – Art Montini

9.  24 – Joe Garcia

10.  22 – John O’Brien

11.  21 – Denny Habecker

12.  20 – Darren Barnhart

It is interesting to note that only one lifter in the above list is not a Junior or Master lifter – and that is Chad Ullom.  The significance of this it that Chad is eligible to break or set only OVERALL records, not age group records.  The advantage of being able to break or set age group records is that you can “double dip” – meaning you can set TWO records with one record attempt.  All of Chad’s records were set individually – which is much more difficult!  This will change next year for him as he reaches the age in which he can FINALLY call himself a MASTER LIFTER.  This list does not include records set in the TEAM Record List, which is a different listing.  All together 18 new Team Records were set in 2010.  The following is the list of which teams set the most.

Team Records in 2010

1.   8 – Mike Murdock and Rudy Bletscher

2.  6 – Al Myers and Chad Ullom

3.  4 – Scott Tully and Mark Mitchell

1 2 3 4