America's Strongest Woman in the lightweight division

Six incredible women came to Las Vegas last weekend, hit the scales at 140 or less pounds bodyweight, and went toe to toe for the title of America’s Strongest Woman in the lightweight division.

Challenge numero uno was the head to head Viking Press, a giant lever machine that was pressed or jerked overhead for as many reps as possible in 60 seconds. Leslie Hofheins hammered out 7 big lifts, Carlee Olivera blasted through 9 reps, and Kira Wrixon absolutely lost her mind going for 19 repetitions on the apparatus.

The second task before our ladies was the Max Hummer Tire Deadlift. This had only been contested on a big stage for women at the Arnold, and very few Lightweight women ever get spots at the Arnold since it is an open weight competition. This event was the Lightweight ladies’ chance to shine on one of the coolest looking deadlift implements in the game. Leslie Hofheins and Kristin Ellis both topped out at a massive 465lbs/211kg, while Kira Wrixon took another event win with 495lbs/224.5kg!

Event 3 was the Carry Medley, and featured a 200lb/91kg Duck Walk, a 200lb per hand Farmers Walk, and a 200lb Sandbag to be carried in any order across a nearly 40ft course. Joanne Mayall took 3rd with the best showing of anyone that did not complete the entire course. Olivera and Ellis completed the course in 42.37sec and 36.69sec respectively en route to securing the top 2 spots.

The Sandbag Over Shoulder faced our lightweight champions next. Heather Cerkan worked through 2 of the bags very quickly, but no one was prepared for the lightning fast run through 4 bags that Kira Wrixon put together to win the event. Unfortunately, the jaw dropping performance came with a price; Wrixon was helped off the field after this, with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

With one event left, Wrixon had a 3.5 point lead, but Olivera and Ellis were still capable of pushing her down the podium. Kira had no choice but to attempt the final event, or she would certainly be relegated to 3rd place. What was the show-closing obstacle that stood between Kira and the title of America’s Strongest Woman? The Power Stairs, one of the last events a person would want to face with a busted hammy. To make matters worse, at 4’11” with bum leg, Wrixon knew she wouldn’t have the posterior chain drive to utilize a conventional technique successfully here, as that is difficult enough for her normally.

So what did she do? Kira used the Zercher technique, which puts even more strain on the hamstrings. So there she was, hobbling at this point to get around, ready to make a last ditch effort to keep her lead and avoid allowing the title to slip from her iron grasp. When the smoke cleared, here were the final standings:

6th – Heather Cerkan 5th – Joanne Mayall (Mulligan) 4th – Leslie Hofheins 3rd – Kristin Ellis (20pts) 2nd – Carlee Olivera (22.5pts) 1st, & the 2022 America’s Strongest Woman, Lightweight Division – Kira Wrixon (23pts)

Incredible work by incredible athletes. Congratulations to an inspiring champion, and best of luck in recovery.

Written By Paul Mouser