The Under 23 Worlds Strongest Man contest was at Northwood Stadium in Stoke-On-Trent, England and was the undercard to the main event, the team world championships on August 26th. Eight of the strongest under 23 year olds in the world hailing from countries such as Canada, Lithuania, Poland, Scotland, England, Wales and of course the United States were in attendance. This was the third ever world championship for the Junior divison, with only 3 (incl
uding me) of the competitors from last years competition in attendance. The other 2 competitors from the previous year were on the podium last year while I was in eighth place, knowing that I had a big task at hand to join them or knock one of them off but was ready for it.
The first event was the farmers walk 275 pounds per hand for 130 feet, 65 ft down and back with a turn on grass. As we were warming up I noticed that the grass was slippery from it raining all night and continued to rain, which didn't stop until about 4 hours after the competition ended. I was in the second to last group, watching some of the competitors losing their footing on the surface and losing time on the event. With that knowledge I picked up the farmers, did not go full speed until right out of the turn and went full speed ahead placing third on the event.
Second event was last man standing log press for a max, starting at 120 kg (265 lb). Every competitor had to take every attempt until they could not press anymore. Attempts were 10 kg jumps until there were only 3 people left then it would be 5 kg jumps. Based off the placing from the farmers walk, I was one of the last people to go on every single attempt. I ended up tieing for second on this event, with my last successful attempt at 160 kg (352 lb). There never ended up being 5 kg jumps, with 6 of the 8 competitors attempting 160 kg and four people successfully completing it.
Third event was the hussafel stone cary 165 kg (365 pounds) for distance, with turns at 65 feet and picked from a platform. With all of the events being head to head, I was in the last group to go on this event. The hussafel was solid stone, made by Spartan Stones and just an absolute beast of a stone. I ended up getting 4th on the event with about 100-115 feet for my distance.
The fourth event was car deadlift for reps with a side handle 300 kg (661 lb) in 75 seconds with no straps. No straps was decided the night before in the rules meeting, pending on the weather though straps were still an option. Even though the weather was still rainy we still went with no straps anyways but it didn't affect any of the competitors. I ended up getting second on this event with 16 reps. I would have tied for 1st on the event with 17 reps but dropped the deadlift from the top and lost a rep, in turn losing a point.
Fifth event was the pole push, last man standing which was a wrestling discipline on the grass while raining with no cleats being used. The event uses a telephone pole with two rope handles on each side of the wooden pole. A ring is set up, similar to sumo wrestling and the two people going hold the two rope handles on each side of the pole and try to push the other person out of the ring. If you fall, a knee, or an arm goes down in the ring then you lose. I ended up getting third on this event with winning my first one, falling on my face in the second battle and winning my third one to end up getting third place on that event.
After 2.5 hours and 5 events in the pooring rain in England, the under 23 worlds strongest man contest was over just like that. 3 hours later we found out how we did when the placings were done at halftime of the team world championships. Getting my name announced with my country for a podium finish (3rd place) from Glenn Ross in front of 3,000+ people was one of the highlights of my life, not just my strongman career. It was a close finish being one point away from second place, anyone messing up on any event could have shook up what the podium looked like.
I would like to thank everyone from Shane Rickman, Dean, Laurence and my Strength Depot family for helping me out along on this journey, I could not have done it without you guys. I want to give a special shoutout to my training partners Rob and Jen for believing in me and who have pushed me to limits that I did not think that I could have been pushed to before. I want to thank my mom and dad for helping out with everyday life, the things that can go unnoticed. I want to thank everyone who ordered a shirt to help my fundraiser for this trip to make this possible because going to school full time and working part time with training is hard to make enough money to go to the UK. Last but not least I want to thank USS for opening a way for young strongmen from the US to showcase their abilities on international stages.