The WA Strongman National Qualifiers, Coventry Square

350 kilo Axle deadliftTHIS qualifier was pretty disappointing for me, I have to admit. I gave it all I had, and in spite of my experience I still took third place. The Heavyweight division boasted a half dozen athletes this year. I lost to Liam McIntyre, of Crossfit Armed, and a new heavyweight by the name of Rongo, who came out of nowhere to steal second. I know little about the young guy, other than he took 4th or 5th place in New Zealand’s Strongest Man earlier this year.

In the end, my score was damaged by my lack of conditioning. I almost blacked out, collapsed and lost control of my limbs for a couple of seconds during the final event – the 130 kilogram sack carry. It was a race for greatest distance travelled in 90 seconds, and while the sack carry and load has been one of my better events in the past, today it was my undoing. I fell after not even completing one 15 meter lap. I need to get my heart rate down.

My yoke was shit. I can’t say why, but it has not improved since last year, based on my scrutiny. Especially since in training it’s been going markedly better than it did on the day. But then I do have a nice, rigid, new yoke to train with.

This year

The axle clean-press was heavier than 110 kilos, but it made no difference on the day, as I was only able to press it once while my competitors both achieved several reps (Liam’s looked especially effortless).

And the rising bar Axle deadlift event also felt to me like it was misloaded. According to officials all weights were checked and no misloads occurred. My best lift on the day, a 350 kilogram axle dead, was most definitely a new record for me, but honestly didn’t feel that heavy. All the same… it’s a new PR, and it’s a significant one. I’m happy enough about this, and it assures me that repping 300 conventional in the near future is now that much more attainable. Once I’ve recovered from today, of course.

This was my best performance on the day. Shame about the shitty footage.

The Fat Gripz grip strength event will get a post of it’s own in due course. I’ve got a bunch of footage I need to piece together. It was also a successful part of the comp.

But the real highlight of this year’s qualifiers, for me, has to be the performance of a young lady called Ashleigh Hetaraka. Ashleigh is an LFL player who I met not even a month ago, at Genesis. She expressed an interest in training Strongman and I showed her some stuff with the yoke. Within a few attempts she was walking 195 kilos for 20 meters, no drops, and no belt. I was impressed, and she was eager to do more.

Ashleigh had just three weeks of training with me as her coach (and I’m no coach) saturday afternoons and weeknights where possible, while *also* training for the Legends Football League on Sundays. And it was during LFL practice that Ashleigh severely sprained her ankle, about two weeks before comp day.
10407958_10202471054634149_1929846659875471606_nAshleigh is committed. She’s galvanised, and she’s stupid. Stupid enough to not listen to her physio and her coach (that would be me, by the looks of things) when they tell her not to train on a busted ankle. She doesn’t care about the risks associated with moving heavy weight… she just wants to be a weapon. I am hoping that, over time, she will listen enough to become a smart weapon. I know she has a future in Strongwoman, IF she doesn’t permanently damage herself in the process.

She took third place in the women’s division and secured her spot in the State finals this year. Come October, with proper training (and fewer busted ankles) she will be a force in Strongwoman in the state.

As for me, I will be back at events training next Saturday, at Genesis Bentley.

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