2001 SALEM GOLD'S GYM STRONGMAN by JV Askem
AT: Riverfront Park, Salem Oregon, July 14th, 2001
Reported by: J.V. Askem
Heavyweight winner, "Big Daddy" Dean Muncey
carrying two brake drums bolted together (220 lbs).
This implement was used in two events.
"Cool sun glasses Dean."
This contest was OK for a local meet, but was not nearly heavy enough to test really serious strong men and women contestants. It would probably be more accurate to call such an affair a "Fitness/ Strength" contest.
Once again, organized by Kyle Sexton's Gold's Gym chain of Salem, this year's contest was directed by Tony LaLac. Tony, and his staff of approximately 12 people, did a good job keeping the contest running smoothly, as well as providing an outlet for smaller strongmen and women to compete.
There was a good turnout of competitors as well as spectators, and the weather was perfect for the 50 entries. There were 3 men's weight classes, like last year, as well as a women's class. However, the masters division was dropped. which was a tough break for the older guys. So those guys, who were over 40, had to find a place in the open weight classes. However, that didn't stop last year's masters winner, 42 year old Don Dyer! Don only missed 1st place in the middle weight open division by 1/2 point.
Left: The winner, Julie Havelka on the
Junk Yard Stack with 180 lb railroad tye.
Center: 2nd place, April Mack loading
a piece of scrap iron.
Right: 3rd place, Lisa Kromer pressing
Of the six events, only three could be considered true strongman events! The first event, "The Junk Yard Stack" was IMO the best event! Set up like a Stone Loading event, The "Stack" was the best that the promoters could improvise on their limited budget.
Essentially the competitors had to lift varying weighted awkward shaped objects up onto large boxes of different heights. Examples of some of the objects were two large truck brake drums bolted together weighing 220 lbs, a 180 lb 12" by 12" railroad tye, a 250 lb cement block, and a 300 lb cement car stop with a couple of plates bolted on for good measure.
THE HEAVY WEIGHTS
Left to right: 1st: Dean Munsey, 2nd: Brice Gimbel, 3rd: Sam Monroe
All doing the Sun Dial (about 400 lbs)
The second event was a "Beer Keg Toss For Distance". Although this gave the competitors a break after the first event, it did not provide much excitement. Both kegs were filled with water and weighed 60 lbs and 80 lbs. So very few competitors could even throw them out over 10 feet. The best throw was about 22 feet by Mark Wechter, who is an experienced thrower from competing in Highland Games.
The "Log Lift", for the most part, was way too light! This is the problem with a lot of wooden logs! They dry out and get lighter. When you get competitors pressing or jerking up over 30 reps, it is NOT really a strongman event. The only Log that was any kind of a test was the middle weight men's log.
Mike Kromer won the heavy weight class with 25 reps on the 194 lb log. The middle weight log winner was Jon Smith with 14 reps on a 174 lb log. Casey Jackson did 33 reps on the 120 lb light weight's log, with Luke Gillock right behind at 32 reps. And Juie Havelka did 39 reps with the women's 70 lb log.
THE MIDDLE WEIGHTS (176lbs to 225 lbs)
Left: 1st, for the 3rd year in a row, Mark Wechter.
Center: 2nd place, 42 year old Don Dyer.
Right: 3rd Jon Smith on the 320 lb Sun Dial
The fourth event, The "Sun Dial" was my personal favorite here. Similar to the Conan's Wheel, this apparatus proved a good test for all. Just lift and walk until you drop it. Also it was a good event for photos.
Brice Gimbel won the heavies on the Sun Dial, with Dean Muncey 2nd. Mark Wechter won the middle weights, Casey Jackson the lights, with April Mack winning the women's, which weighed 205 lbs.
The fifth event was another low budget affair, but it worked just fine! Here three implements were set out for "The Junk Yard Medley". The implements used were a Sand Bag Carry, then 3 flips of a Truck Tire, and finally Carrying and Loading a heavy object.
THE LIGHT WEIGHTS (under 175 lbs)
Left: 1st, Casey Jackson cleans 120 lb log.
Center: Last year's winner Luke Gillock took 2nd,
doing 285 lbs Sun Dial.
Right: 3rd, Robert Aramillas lifts the brake drums.
The sixth and final event, a "Seated Jeep Pull" proved to be a total waste of time. Fortunately the crowd only had to endure the top three in each division on this event. In short, the vehicle was just too light. NOTE: Events should always be tested prior to a contest. This event for the men was basically, who had the fastest hands to pick up the excess slack on the rope as the momentum rolled the jeep along.
THE OLDEST AND YOUNGEST
Left: 51 year old Douglas Ward with a 250 lb cement block.
Center: 49 year old Steve Jeffries on the Sun Dial.
Right: 13 year old Andy Muncey loads some scrap iron.
My Main Criticism with this contest.
THE SCORING SYSTEM WAS NOT FAIR!!! I can sympathize with a promoter for budgeting his money with implements, but to deprive athletes of a fair shake in the scoring, because the score keepers are too lazy to do a little extra math, is unconscionable!
Here competitors were instantly out of it if they didn't place in the top four. All places below fourth place were all given one point, whether placed 5th or 50th. This was not bad for the women because there was only four competitors, but the middle weight class had 21 guys, and IMO, had the World Strongest Man scoring system been used, the placings would have been a lot different.
I've now seen this screw ball score system used in 3 different SMC's, and IMO, the guy that thought this up must have had his head in a very dark place! It primarily favors "one event specialists". If you happen to be good all-rounder, and score consistant 5th places, your talent will be ignored in favor of a competitor who wins just one event, but who could place last on all the other events.
There is only one fair scoring system in Strongman! That's the system used in the WSM contest, where every competitor is scored according to their placing in relation to all the other competitors!
If you have 10 competitors, then 1st place should get 10 points, and 10th place should get 1 point. NOT this 10, 7, 5, 3, 1,1,1,1,1,1 garbage. I mentioned my criticism of this scoring system to meet director Tony Lalac, and he said he would look into changing it next year. Let's hope so.
1st Julie Havekla-------------------57
2nd April Mack---------------------43
3rd Lisa Kromer--------------------37
THE HEAVY WEIGHTS (over 225 lbs)
1st Dean Muncey------------------42
2nd Brice Gimbel-------------------38
3rd Sam Monroe--------------------36
THE MIDDLE WEIGHTS (176 lbs to 225 lbs)
1st Mark Wechter------------------37 1/2
2nd Don Dyer------------------------37
3rd Jon Smith------------------------28
THE LIGHT WEIGHTS (under 175 lbs)
1st Casey Jackson-----------------42
2nd Luke Gillock-------------------38
3rd Robert Aramillas--------------23