What a successful day; 61 competitors, 7 hours of competition, records broken and no severe injuries. 26 lightweights, 12 heavyweights, 15 teens, 4 women, 6 masters and nearly 400 spectators proved that NJ is a hotbed for strongman.
The max axle was first, and simply put, Rob Orlando owned it. Competing at a bodyweight of 225lbs., Rob fixed his menacing gaze on the NAS Axle Press record of 315lbs. Calling a 325 opener, Rob wasted no time and blasted the weight up to take the unofficial record as his own. Rob continue to push the envelope by called 345 and 365, and nailed both with authority. Kevin Cronin, on any other day, would have set the record with a very impressive 320. Kyle Millheiser, pressing a 340 with ease, won the heavyweight class.
The second event was the deadlift. Lightweight national champion Margaret Boyle went insane, pulling 225 for 18 reps!!! She definitely looks ready to defend her crown. The lightweight win went to Luis Torres who pulled 500 for 12, and the monster deadlifter Ryan Johnson posted and amazing 12 reps with 600lbs!!!!!
The next event was the keg press. The kegs were filled with sand, water, and lead, making them incredibly unstable and difficult to clean, never mind press. To make matters more challenging, athletes had to press with both hands on the bottom of the keg, making this a test of pure brute strength. Courtney Doto won the women's division, pressing a 60lbs. keg 12 times. The lightweights pressed a 160lbs. keg, and once again, Rob Orlando killed it, hitting 18 reps with second place getting 8. The heavyweights had to press and evil 200lbs. keg, and the winner was first time competitor Justin Czaplicki, pressing it 5 times.
The yoke/keg medley followed, and at this point, the athletes were pretty gassed but called upon their reserves to power through this event. Margaret Boyle assured herself victory by beating Courtney Doto by 1 second! Luis Torres blazed the course in 18 seconds, and Ryan Johnson won the heavies in a time of 26 seconds.
The final event was an 8 stone series, all to 48 plus inches. Florida native Kiel D'Gennaro, who posted 7 stones in 46 seconds, won the lightweights! Ryan Johnson, throwing 7 stones up in a time of 55 seconds, won the heavies!Thank you to the Linden Yard Crew for all their help and all the friends and families who assisted their athletes throughout the day. We'll see everyone in Sept. for Women's Nationals!