My US Strongman: Chocolate Thunder the Write-up!

April 4, 2017

On March 25th, 2017 in Ronceverte WV a storm was brewing as massive intense camaraderie, heavy lifting, and chocolate deliciousness clashed to produce: “Chocolate Thunder II!” It all began with the Axle Clean and Press Away. As usual we go lady’s first Katie St Claire who is was fresh off of a victory from the Intense Strongman cranked off 14 reps of 110lbs, then came Hannah “The Destoyer” Jennings who weighed in as a 132LW and established the lead with 19 reps. The word on the street is that she trains with Vikings. Tonya Stone moved ahead of Kristyn Gordon with 7 reps of 120lbs, however, Kristyn would be back. John Reynolds in the New Comers managed 7 reps at 190 lbs. In group 2 we started with Andrew Shield for the men’s masters with 11 reps at 210lbs Ed Mcgarvey had some difficulty with the clean and lived to survive another day. The Men’s MW started off with Zach Standifur. Many in the crowd were wondering if this kid was old enough to compete, but after dominating the axle with an alternating grip power clean followed by 12 reps at 225lbs they would soon realize he was the United States Strongman LW Teen 2016 National Champion. Tyler Cutlip and Nick Kelly battled it out to tie at 9 reps. Brian Boutilier who weighed in as a 242HW led the way for the big men at 11 reps of 255lbs.  

Next came the 13 inch Axle deadlift having several noteworthy performances including: Hannah repping out 9 reps at 300lbs(over a 2.25x bodweight deadlift), however, not to be outdone by Katie who pulled it for 14 reps. Men’s masters Andrew Shields pulled 450lbs for 15. Kristyn Gordon came back strong with 2 reps of 340lbs. In the MW Men Nick Kelly pulled 500lbs for 10 to take the lead and wisely left some in the tank. Randy Cole started to separate himself pulling 550lbs for 11reps, Brian Boutilier 7 reps to edge John Bryan at 6 reps(John has really improved here).  

In the farmers walk the fastest time of the day was owned by Katie St. Claire carrying 140lb/hand for 60ft in 7.27 sec just behind her was Hannah at 8.88 sec I’m pretty sure I seen some chocolate lightening when they were going. Amber Hardman also finished the course in a very respectable 10.71s. Kristyn Gordon took 1st in the farmers for the HWW’s. In the MW Men Nick Kelly edged Tyler Cutlip by .4 sec carrying 260lb/farmers in 9.58 sec. Randy Cole continued his success carrying the 300lb farmers in 11.96 sec. John Bryan ended up being the only other HW to carry the 300lb handles the entire 60 ft.  

In the sandbag carry once again the 1st and 2nd fastest times of the day were owned by Katie St. Claire and Hannah “The Destoyer Jennings” at 14.26 sec and 15.81 sec. You can’t help but wonder what these two can do on a national level in there respective weight classes. Andrew Shields was the only masters to complete the course, Tyler Cutlip and John Bryan took 1st for the MW and HW men.  

The contest ended with the Atlas stones. Competitors had choice between regular(lighter) stones and the chocolate stone. Newcomers wanted nothing to do with the Chocolate while both Hannah and Katie repped the 200lb chocolate stone for 1 and 4 reps. Tonya and Kristyn also got some chocolate at 2 and 1 reps. Andrew Shields sealed the deal with 6 reps of the 240 lbs stone and Ed hoisted it for 2 reps as well. Tyler Cutlip heaved 330lbs of chocolate for 2 reps, however, Nick Kelly got the 3rd rep to ensure 1st place. John Bryan, Brian Short, and Brian Boutilier all got 3 reps of the 330lb stone. The end result was: 


Middleweight Women 
1st Katie St. Clair 
2nd Hannah Jennings 
3rd Amber Hardman 

Women’s Heavyweight 
1st Tonya Stone(by way of most 1st place finishes) 
2nd Kristyn Gordon 

Men’s Newcomers 
1st John Reynolds 
2nd Samuel Sapp 

Men’s Midweight 
1st Nick Kelly 
2nd Tyler Cutlip 
3rd Zach Standifur 
4th Nick Rookstool 

Men’s Heavyweight 
1st Randy Cole 
2nd John Bryan 
3rd Brian Boutilier 
4th Brian Short 
5th Tyler Purdue 


To all of the volunteers that helped me I can’t thank you all enough! 


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