With 55 total athletes spread across 7 divisions, AZ Beer Bullies 2021 was a resounding success. Powering through over the course of one day, we saw a number of gutsy performances in each weight class, with perhaps the best coming from Sara McNaughtan from the Women’s Middleweight Division. In line for 1st Place against Cynthia Martinez, she suffered a Lisfranc injury midway through the final event, but she gathered herself and managed to finish the event and took 2nd overall. The highlight of the day came from the Men’s Middleweight class (200-232 lb subclass) when Eli Burks pulled an incredible 902 pounds on the 10ft Mammoth Bar at 229 pounds bodyweight. Competition was incredibly close throughout the day in every division, but none more so than the Men’s Super Heavyweight (300+ lb subclass), which needed a tiebreaker event to settle first place between Darin Heltemes and Murphy Busek. Both athletes carried a 250# Atlas Stone for max distance with Darin edging out Murphy 85′ to 80′.

A number of local non-profits supported the event, to include Future 4 Kids and Quality Resilience Fitness, an after-school sports & fitness organization and a veteran suicide awareness and outreach program, respectively. The entire organization was held outside to allow maximum opportunity for social distancing and we were able to qualify 14 athletes for Strongman Corporation Nationals.

Women’s Middleweight Qualifiers: 1st: Cynthia Martinez, 2nd: Sara McNaughtan

Women’s Open Qualifiers: 1st: Colleen Meredith, 2nd: Leilani Brown

Men’s Lightweight: 1st: Nick Boyce, 2nd: Ryan Stern

Men’s Middleweight (175-200): 1st: William Ernster, 2nd: Don Craig

Men’s Middleweight (200-232): 1st: Damian Chavez, 2nd: Zac Miller

Men’s Heavyweight (Sub-300): 1st: Xavier Wissman, 2nd: Jon Erickson

Men’s Superheavyweight (300+): 1st: Darin Heltemes, 2nd: Murphy Busek


Rich Mulder, MS, CSCS

Owner, Liberty Performance Training

AZ State Chair, Strongman Corporation