The growth of teen participation in strongman has been tremendous in the last few years. There have been times when Teen Nationals was lucky to draw enough competitors to even bother with weight classes, but now there is stiff competition in every division that brings out the best in these young athletes. With 30 some contenders, 5 tough events, national records up for grabs, and national titles on the line, Strongman Corporation Teen Nationals 2019 showed where we are headed with the teen classes in strongman sport.
The first challenge for our young titans was the Max Log Lift (or was it making weight – HA!). Perhaps the single most commonly contested event in all of strongman, log lifting is strongman classic, and a well-liked addition to any show. The log (often metal pipes that simulate actual logs, as used here for convenience) begins on the ground, and must be lifted overhead. The athletes had 3 chances to lift the most weight possible, with tie-breaker rules in place to encourage higher lifts early and bigger gambles. National records were set by Parker Wisman-Raven in the Light Weight Women’s category or “LWW” for short, by Hailey Stein in the MWW class, Dalia Hannosh in the HWW division, and Sebastian Kluger in the LW men’s column. Noah Norooz’s and Andrew Clayton’s records from previous years remained in tact for the MW and HW men respectively.
The second wall for our mighty teens to climb was made of block… Mouser Blocks! Big steel blocks had to be picked up and put over a chest-high bar, and once again, the heaviest one lifted determined the winner. Half a dozen of our ladies broke the 200 pound mark here, with Dalia even attempting 250 on all-out third attempt. In the men’s classes, 300+ pound blocks were being tossed around left and right, with defending Super HW class champ Hunter Roethlisberger hitting a whopping 380 pound lift.
Truck Pull was the third obstacle, and was made even tougher by the sweltering heat (versus the nicely air conditioned gymnasium for the other events). The pulls were made more difficult for each respective class, but the fastest times regardless of divisions were Mikayla Brown with 16.10sec amongst the ladies and Matt “Garrett” Belcher in the guys’ groups with 21.33sec. This event toasted whatever muscle power these athletes had left going into the fourth event, which may have been the hardest of the entire day.
The Atlas Stones awaited as fourth event, and this version was particularly devilish. Each successive stone was not only heavier than the last, but was further away from the bar the athletes had to toss them over. Additionally, only 60sec were allowed to finish the event for each athlete, so mistakes could not be made if one hoped to complete the entire series of stones. Perhaps most importantly, this was contested in the ancient style, with absolutely no sticky substances of any sort allowed to be used to aid in lifting, and no rubberized garments either. This event made for a terrific show, as many athletes struggled to the very end as the clock out, using every ounce of power they had. The fastest time in all the women’s classes was Mikayla Brown with 3 stones in 25.22 (no one finished all 4 amongst the women), and 4 stones in 35.05 for Sebastian Kluger in the men’s heats.
The final task for these now weary warriors was the Hercules Hold. The competitors had to hold the handles as long as possible while extreme pressure tried to pull the handles away in opposite directions. If this sounds like a torture device, well, that’s because it sort of is a torture device! This event is equal parts strength and grit, because to excel here one must be mentally prepared to suffer as long as needed to win. Grace Stire had the longest women’s hold regardless of division with 73.21sec, and Hunter Drake had the longest men’s hold with an unreal 94.99sec.
In the end we crowned some new national champions, and re-crowned some defending champs as well. Here’s looking to 2020 continuing the trend of growth in the teen classes of strongman sport!
Viking Performance Training
Flama Blanca Anthony Fuhrman
Braxton County High School
Everyone that helped make this happen!
LWW – Riley Wills
MWW – Mikayla Brown
HWW – Dalia Hannosh
LWM – Matt “Garrett” Belcher
MWM – Gage Hovest
HWM – Deen Bakir
LWW 120 – Hannah Lewis
LWW 140 – Riley Wills
MWW 160 – Mikayla Brown
MWW 180 – Rosie Fleischman
HWW 200 – uncontested
HWW 201+ – Dalia Hannosh
LWM 150 – Jackson Bailey
LWM 175 – Matt “Garrett” Belcher
MWM 200 – Jacob Bobbs
MWM 231 – Gage Hovest
HWM 265 – Canyon Blauch-Chappell
HWM 300 – Dylan Bragg
HWM 301+ – Hunter Roethlisberger
See you all at Open Nationals
- Paul Mouser