USAWA History – 1989 Nationals

by Al Myers

John Vernacchio repeated as meet director again at the USAWA Nationals Championships in 1989.  The meet was held in Plymouth Meeting, the site of the prior 1988 Nationals.  It was a grueling 2 day affair, with many of the same lifts contested as the year before.  The meet climaxed with the Hip Lift, with Steve Schmidt hitting the best Hip Lift of the meet with a great lift of 2400 pounds which gave him the BEST LIFTER of the meet for the second time in two years.  Cindy Garcia won the BEST LIFTER in the womens division for the first womens CHAMPION (no women competed in the first ever championships).  Meet attendance at this Nationals exceeded the prior year with 34 lifters competing in 1989.  Several “well recognized” USAWA members made their USAWA  National Championships debut in this meet: Noi Phumchaona, Howard Prechtel, Dennis Mitchell, Joe McCoy, and Frank Ciavattone.

The one unique feature of the 1989 USAWA National Championship was that it was held IN CONJUNCTION with the 1989 IAWA World Championships.  The same lifts were contested and a USAWA  lifters lifts would count for both Championships!!!  This is the only time in the history of the USAWA and the IAWA that this has happened. 


1989 USAWA National Championships
June 24-25, 1989
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: John Vernacchio

Lifts: One Hand Deadlift, Neck Lift, Clean and Press heels together, Zercher, Hip Lift, Bench Press feet in air, Pullover and Push, One Hand Snatch, Continental to Chest, Front Squat

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Steve Schmidt, Missouri
2. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
3. Tim Bruner, Texas
4. John McKean, Pennsylvania
5. Phil Anderson, Texas
6. Brian Meek, Texas
7. Bill DiCiccio Sr., Pennsylvania
8. John Carter, Missouri
9. Jim Bufalini, Pennsylvania
10. John Vernacchio, Pennsylvania

Women: Top Two Placings
1. Cindy Garcia, Missouri
2. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Open – Cindy Garcia
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Open – Steve Schmidt
Men Master – Art Montini
Men Junior – Frank Shuba, Jr.