The inaugural Man of Steele Classic was held July 28, 2018 by SoCal Strength, in East County San Diego with an estimated 500 spectators in attendance. The competition took place at Steele Canyon High School as a fundraiser for the defending D3 State Champion football team, as they begin their 2018 season.

More than 80 of Southern California’s strongest men and women faced off in an epic display of strength,under the officiating of Pro Strongwoman Kristin Rhodes. With Rhodes direction 5 judges and 20 volunteers ran a smooth and efficient show.

Also in attendance, and acting as master of ceremonies was the Texas Stoneman himself, Travis Ortmayer. Throughout the day, the former WSM competitor, took the opportunity to interview a few athletes after each event, share the story of his first ever strongman competition and educate the crowd on the history of events like the axle clean and press and Atlas stone over bar.

LWW newcomer Holly Hansler wowed the crowd with a 180 lb. axle clean and press to kick off the action, and it only got better from there. In the extremely competitive, MWM division it was a fight, but Joe Buckley came out ahead of 17 other athletes by days end, earning his ticket to Strongman Corporation Nationals. The kilted warrior, Derek McCracken, refused to go quietly with a 17 second 100 ft. carry of the 675 lb. yoke. However, the biggest challenge of the day appeared to be the keg, sandbag,and sled medley. “It was the perfect combination of victory and defeat.” stated event promoter Jackson Reeves. While some athletes, like MWW winner Emily Elliot, triumphed in the face of this “soul crushing” medley, others fell short of the 75 second time limit. HWM winner, Jose Baez, finished theevent, but mentioned “I hate this event…..we all looked like roadkill after it.”

Athletes were not conservative in their reviews of the event. Daniel Watson, HWM competitor from Iron Mongers gym shared “Best show I have participated in so far and my kudos goes out to all of youwho helped make it such a success!” This event was the culmination of so many generous sponsors,hard-working volunteers, and unstoppable athletes. SoCal Strength is grateful for all involved and cannot wait for the next show!