USAWA History – 2005 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the Strength Journal, Vol. XVI No. 5. )


Youngstown, Ohio, June 25-26 – Mike McBride used a 630 neck lift to beat Al Myers for the best lifter award at the USAWA National Championships held at the Jump Stretch Gym – the home of the championship sponsor.

McBride was in second place behind Big Al and barely ahead of Randy Smith from Marquette, Michigan, at the end of the first day’s five events. Randy, who has just turned 50, was in the best condition of his USAWA career and had some left in the tank after each lift.

By the time the field reached the neck lift – the last of the nine lifts forming the championship, McBride had fallen to third and Smith was within easy striking distance of Myers. When starting poundages were posted, it was obvious things would change.  Smith, once again, was capable of doing more than the 300 on his attempt.  Myers opened with 400 and made it with ease, but failed with 500 – which was Mike’s opener.  Had Al done 500, Mike would need 555.  With Al’s failure, Mike went on to do a personal record of 630, beating Frank Ciavattone along the way.

It was an exciting battle for top honors.  Another close battle came in the junior division when Ian Reel, a member of Myers’ Dinosaur Gym, upheld the honor of Kansas by slipping past Jump Stretch’s Andrew Loudon, a first-time competitor, who, like Smith, cut himself short in the neck lift and cost himself a title.  Both Randy and Andy will know better next time.

Ian nipped Andy in total points, 1842-1837.  Andy had done 400 on his third neck lift attempt and had already set an age group record.  He misread the record list and thought he needed 475 to set a new mark.  He made the 475 with ease and it was truly a national record – by more than 100 pounds.  Had Andy done the 475 as a third attempt, Ian would have joined Al Myers in second place.  Live and learn.

Close battles and some outstanding efforts could not hide the fact that only 21 lifters were in the competition.  We’ll discuss that problem later in The Journal.

McBride and Myers have hooked up several times in recent years at Clark’s Gym and their classic battle will continue at the Goerner Deadlift Dozen, the Zercher Meet, the Deanna Meet, Al’s Dinosaur Challenge in Jan., and the USAWA Nationals next June – which will be held in Salina, KS. with Al the meet director.

Thanks to the Jump Stretch folks – Dick Hartzell, Carl LaRosa and his staff and family – for an excellent weekend.  The wind-up dinner was outstanding.  Clark enjoyed the chicken as much as any I’ve ever eaten. 


2005 USAWA National Championships
June 25-26, 2005
Jump Stretch Fitness Center
Youngstown, Ohio

Meet Directors: Dick Hartzell and Carl LaRosa
Emcee: Bill Clark
Scorekeeper: Bill Clark

Lifts: Deadlift with Fulton Bar, Bench Press feet in air, Cheat Curl, French Press, 2-Hand Anyhow with Barbell & Dumbbell, Vertical Bar 1 Bar 2″ 1 Hand, 1-Arm Hack Lift, Clean & Seated Press, Neck Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Mike McBride, Missouri
2. Al Myers, Kansas
3. Randy Smith, Michigan
4. Jim Malloy, Ohio
5. Frank Ciavattone, Massachusetts
6. John McKean, Pennsylvania
7. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
8. Scott Schmidt, Ohio
9. Ian Reel, Kansas
10. Andy Loudon, Ohio

Best Lifter Awards:
Men Junior – Ian Reel
Men Open – Mike McBride
Men Master – Randy Smith