The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

October 6, 2013

Men of (big) muscles

Ashtabula Bench Press Contest will turn 25 on Saturday

Lonnie Anderson and his fellow weight lifters at the Ashtabula YMCA were looking to have the equipment upgraded at the facility. The funds weren’t available so Anderson and his buddies had a solution to the issue.

“We asked if we could raise the money ourselves,” Anderson said. “They said sure.”

That short conversation led to the start of the Ashtabula Bench Press Contest in 1988. The 25th edition of the event will be held Oct. 12 at the YMCA.

“Now, we have food for the lifters, a DJ who plays rock music to get the lifters motivated, give-aways for the lifters,” Anderson said. “Last year, we had $3,500 in give-aways to show our appreciation for the lifters entering the event.

“I’m happy it’s gotten this far. I was going to end it at 25 years, it’s different now. I don’t want to end it. I’ll continue it as long as I can, as long as people are still interested in lifting.”

Weigh-ins will be from 8-10 a.m. and a rules clinic will be held at 10:30 with competition beginning at 11. Entry fee for the touch-and-go (no pause) contest is $30 with a team entry fee of $50. Awards will be presented for Outstanding Lifter, Most Weight Reached and Most Improved, as well as team awards for first through third.

The event has survived through some lean times and is enjoying a bit of a renaissance.

“We hope to have as many lifters as last year, which was 60,” Anderson said. “We won’t know how we’ll have until that day. We get more entries the day of the event than we do prior.

“People have told me, and I’ve been reluctant to say it, is that it’s because of the way we run the event. Our organization and my connections with sponsors and contestants is one of the reasons it’s lasted as long as it has.”

As it did back in the beginning and every years since, the money raised will be used to purchase equipment.

“We’re looking to, hopefully, add to the money we made last year and buy an assisted dip machine and pull-up machine,” Anderson said.

Weight classes for the event begin at 148 pounds and go on up through the super heavy division. There will also be a competition for Special Olympic competitors.

“Last year, we added the Special Olympics division,” Anderson said. “It’s awesome. Last year, they were lifting 150, 160 and 170 pounds. It’s more impressive to watch them do that than it is to watch guys bench 500 or 600 pounds.”

Though the guys are competing against one another, they don’t root against one another. Actually, they support each other very well.

“The event shows camaraderie,” Anderson said. “The audience is involved and they cheer for the lifters. All around, it’s a good time.”   

Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Spartans knock around Dragons

    After being cooped up in gymnasiums for the better part of the season so far, the Conneaut and Lakeside softball teams were just happy to get onto a diamond. Playing for the first time in nearly a week, the Spartans toppled the Dragons, 11-2, Thursday afternoon at Lakeside.

    April 18, 2014

  • PV can’t get past Mathews

    Thursday afternoon at Pymatuning Valley, the visiting Mathews Mustangs were able to do what every coach hopes for — execute. They played a clean game from start to finish in every facet of the game, and that carried the Mustangs to an 8-2 Northeastern Athletic Conference victory.

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    BASEBALL
    NAC
    Matthews 8, PV 2
    at PV

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    FRIDAY, APRIL 18
    Baseball

    Geneva at Edgewood (11)
    Niles McKinley at Edgewood (5)
    Conneaut at Lakeside (4:30)
    Madison at Euclid (4:30)
    Softball
    Madison at Edgewood (4:30)
    Geneva at Mentor (10, DH)
    Tennis
    Conneaut at Madison (4)

    April 18, 2014

  • Justin Butler Justin time

    It was just four short years ago that Justin Butler was spending his fall on a soccer field.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: ‘Kids’ stuff’ spurs great responses

    I’m often caught more than a bit off-guard by what stories, features or columns generate responses from you, Loyal Readers, much more so than those who do not.
    For example, the column that appeared in this space a couple of days ago regarding things yours truly and my buddies did as kids prompted more than a few responses.
    A sampling, many of which were posted on my Facebook page:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • kyle GANG GREEN

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    THURSDAY, APRIL 17
    Baseball
    Grand Valley at Maplewood (4:30)
    St. John at Lawrence (4:30)
    Mathews at PV (4:30)
    Fairport at Perry (7:30)
    West Geauga at Madison (4:30)
    Harvey at Riverside (4:30)
    Jefferson at Harding (5)

    April 16, 2014

  • Olivia In transition

    Pymatuning Valley graduate Olivia Holt had a distinct reason she chose to play basketball for Mount Union.
    “They do have tradition,” Holt, the daughter of Gus and Michelle Holt, said. “I’m from PV. We had a tradition of winning and working hard there. I wanted to go somewhere that tradition mattered. I knew I was going to get better by coming here.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Spring has sprung one big leak

    Paying a Wednesday morning visit to the variety store...

    Think spring?
    If this, um, err, uh... spring... feels a bit unusual for high school baseball and softball teams in Northeast Ohio, it is, to a point.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Week in Review January 10 and 11
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video