Zercher Meet

by Joe Garcia

Group picture from the 2012 Zercher Meet. (left to right): Eric Todd, Dean Ross, Mike Murdock, Chris Anderson, Lance Foster, and Joe Garcia.

Saturday was a great day at Clarks Gym.  The Zercher meet, the longest running event through USAWA’s history, was contested once again.  This year we had a total of six lifters, Bill Clark as the head official, Tom Powell and James Foster for loading and even two spectators.  Eric Todd showed up with Lance Foster and Chris Anderson.  Dean Ross and Mike Murdock were there and I rounded out the crew.  Richard Coder and his wife, members of the gym, were the spectators.  I mention Richard because he at one time worked out with some of the old time greats like John Grimek, etc out at York.  They both stayed for the entire contest and even joined us at Golden Corral. 

Once everyone was weighed in, we got started.  As usual, the leg press was first.  This particular model is the version where the weights go straight up and down, none of the angled stuff.  Chris had the top lift as Eric tried a little too big of a jump for his last attempt.  Mike Murdock started putting the pressure on Dean with a 500 to 450 lift.  In the Military Press, Eric came out on top even though he was nursing a bad right elbow.  Same thing happened in the Clean and Jerk, with Eric topping Chris by twenty pounds.  We had a three way tie in the one hand deadlift with Eric, Chris and me all getting 275 though I have to admit that my lift was a lot slower than theirs.  In the Heels Together Deadlift it was no contest with Eric out lifting everyone by 100 lbs.  We got a little rest for our backs and went to the other side of the gym to do the Bench – Feet in the Air.  Again Eric had the top lift with 350 lbs. 

After the bench, it was time to troop to the back of the gym for the rest of the meet, starting with the Hack lift.  Eric topped Chris 365 to 355 to earn top lift in this event also.  Next up was the lift the meet is named after, the Zercher lift.  Eric had the top lift with 385, but probably would have done more if he hadn’t missed 385 on his second attempt.  The problem wasn’t that the weight was too heavy, it was that he pulled it up too fast.  It looked about like he was cleaning the weight and when it hit his thighs he lost his balance and fell backwards on the floor.  So for the third attempt he just stayed at the same weight.   In everyone’s favorite, the Steinborn, Eric again came out first with 375. 

Bill Clark directing another Zercher Meet - the longest running meet in the USAWA.

After finishing with the regular bar lifts, it was time for the big bar to make an appearance.  To make things easy on our loaders, we decide to contest the lifts together, simply increasing the weight and the lifters would perform their lifts.  So what you would have seen is the Hand and Thigh, Hip and Harness being attempted one after another, just by different lifters.  In the Neck lift, Eric again had the top lift of 525 with both Chris and I getting 425.  Even though I did better this year in the Hand and Thigh than last year, I couldn’t duplicate my efforts at the Heavy Lift Nationals and Eric had the top lift with a 1305.  Chris did very well with a 1055 and in fact was great in all the big bar lifts despite never having done them before.  I’m not sure that he had even seen some of them.  In the Hip lift, we finally got someone else with the top lift where I was able get 1875 to Eric’s 1675.  Each year I also try to beat my old record of 2049 but once again was unsuccessful.  The final lift of the day was the Harness and I was again able to top Eric with 2445 to his 2225.  The end result of the day was Eric having the most poundage lifted, but with the magic of age, weight and a calculator, I won the event with Eric second and Chris third.  Full results are shown below.

During the morning, Dave Beversdorf also came in and set a couple bench records in the One Hand Bench.  Dave loves the bench and all variations of it and holds a number of USAWA records.

It was wonderful day at the gym, and tremendous to see everyone that showed up.  Eric and company needed to get on the road, but the rest of us ended up at Golden Corral for our normal post competition fest.  The only thing that was forgotten by both Bill and me were the Vanilla Wafers, a Zercher meet fixture for many years.


Zercher Strength Classic
Clarks Gym, Columbia, MO
January 28th, 2012

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Official: Bill Clark

Lifts: Leg Press, Deadlift – one arm, Hack Lift, Continental to Chest and Jerk, Clean and Press – Heels Together, Zercher Lift, Steinborn Lift, Neck Lift, Hip Lift, Harness Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Bench Press – Feet in Air

LIFT Joe Garcia Eric Todd Chris Anderson Mike Murdock Dean Ross Lance Foster
AGE 58 37  23  71  69  46
BWT 95.2 115.2  136.1  107.1  125.2  142.9
Leg P 400 750  800  500  450  400
DL-1 275R 275R  275R  185R  185L  185R
DL-HT 315 550  450  245  275  375
Hack 265 365  355  165  165  185
C&J 175 285  265  95  0  135
C&P 155 245  225  120  120  145
Zerch 225 385  365  205  205  135
Stein 195 375  325  145  145  0
Neck 425 525  425  125  125  305
Hip 1875 1675  1205  655  755  805
Harn 2445 2225  1505  955  1005  1005
H&T     1205 1305  1055  505  550  655
BP-FIA 225 350  315  175  175  175
Total 8180 9310  7565  4075  4155  4505
Points 8463.9 7326.0  5491.4  4395.2  4080.8  3426.8
Place 1st 2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th

NOTES: BWT is bodyweight in kilograms.  All lifts recorded in pounds. Total is total pounds lifted. Points are adjusted points for the lynch correction and age adjustment.


Dave Beversdorf (46 years old, 299# BWT)
Bench Press – Right Arm: 170 pounds
Bench Press – Left Arm: 165 pounds