Weight-lifting event to showcase area lifters

star staff

  The opportunity to compete in area weight-lifting events is limited throughout Northeast Tennessee.
  Happy Valley's weight-lifting coach Alex Campbell has decided to put on a show which will feature some of the area's best lifters along with outsiders who have a reputation of handling big weight.
  "This isn't just another local lift with just a few local lifters, but guys like Travis Mash who set World record in total for the World Power Lifting Organization will be there," said Campbell.
  Mash weighs in at 220 lbs. and a combined weight of 2410 lbs. was recorded which consist of bench, squat, and dead-lift, which is ranked the highest in the nation.
  "His trainer Chris 'The Ox" Mason pulls about 750 lbs. in the 242 lb class so they both are two real good pullers," said Campbell.
  The event will be held on October 23, at 6:30 p.m. inside the gymnasium at Happy Valley High school.
  This program will consist of the dead-lift only, which has acquired the name "Night of the Living Dead" because of it's date being so close to Halloween.
  "The flyers I've put out said you needed to contact by the 17th, but if you want to lift after finding out by reading the paper then I'll work with you," said Campbell.
  Mike Neece from Greeneville is another lifter with an excellent reputation that will be competing in this year's event.
  "He just set the National record in the 18 inch strongman dead-lift with a 1,015 lbs. at the Music City Strongman event," said Campbell.
  A demonstration of bench press will take place during intermission as a part of the half-time festivities.
  "If you like bench pressing and really don't know what a dead-lift is, then I guarantee you'll like the dead-lift, but get too see some bench pressing too," said Campbell.
  The initiative behind the event is to raise money for the Happy Valley lifting club which has produced three different lifters who have qualified for the National USPL event in Texas.
  "We've got Laura Letterman qualified for the high school Nationals in Texas which is expensive to compete in," said Campbell. "Also we took a team of 15 to Hampton last year, which I would also like to pay for them."
  Brothers Lance and Brandon Whitehead which are former students of Happy Valley have also qualified for the National event under the training program.
  Also competing on Saturday is the three time National Champion team Bristol Bar-Bell which has as many as five lifters competing.
  "There will be some really good lifter which are not just local but National and Regional competitors too," said Campbell.
  The entry fee is $30, which half goes to the winner of the event and the other half to the lifting club.
  "The person who has the best body pound lift will get half of the money combined which I'm hoping will be $200 to $300 for the winner," said Campbell.
  Festivities will start at 6:30 p.m. with the lifting starting at 7 p.m., so if you plan on getting there early for the weigh-in which starts at 4:30 p.m.
  Anyone interested in competing can contact Alex Campbell at 725-2415 or call Happy Valley High school during the day.
  Admission is $2 per person with children under 12 getting in free. T-shirts for the event will also be sold in efforts to raise money, along with door prizes and coupons which will be given away.
  Special thanks go out to the corporate sponsors of Ward's Chiropractic, Arby's, Pals, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Pizza Inn, and Lifeway Christian Book Store for their support in making the event possible.
  "If you like body building, weight lifting, football, or Olympic wrestling then I guarantee you'll like it," said Campbell. "We've got a professional D.J., fog machines, strobe lights, and everything set-up and it's going to be exciting."