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Unleash the Beast: Competition Recap


On February 20, The Strongman Club kicked off the 2021 competition schedule with Unleash the Beast. 58 competitors, along with family and friends, gathered in the parking lot of The North D Fitness Collective in Sacramento to lift and move heavy objects.


Athletes put their strength to the test in the axle clean and press for reps, deadlift and farmers carry medley, standing arm-over-arm sled pull, and atlas stone load over bar. Covid precautions necessitated the competition be split in two, with the women and novice men competing in the morning while open and masters men did battle in the afternoon. The field of athletes was comprised of both seasoned veterans and strongman newbies, and a few divisions featured close, down-to-the-wire contests.


In the lightweight women’s open division, Rachel Carillo won a close battle with Carly Andrus, locking up her victory with an impressive 12-rep performance in the stones. Adrienne Snyder edged out Natalie Studer in the closely-contested middleweight women’s division, loading the 135lb stone a ridiculous 17 times. Shaina Vales turned in a dominant performance on the heavyweight women’s card, while Anna Mosikaka won the sled pull on her way to a third place finish in the open division at her first sanctioned competition.


In the lightweight men’s open division, Craig Tucker produced a dominant wire-to-wire victory, winning three of four events. TJ Miller pushed Blake Dedas hard in the middleweight men’s division, but Blake emerged victorious by two points. The heavyweight men’s open crown was contested by seven athletes. Gabriel Kassel and Gary Westrope are no strangers in battle, having gone head-to-head multiple times at past Beast of the Bay competitions. Gabriel narrowly beat out Gary again, while Mat Wittmayer turned in an impressive fourth place performance in his first open competition.


On the masters lightweight women’s card, Lynn Oku claimed an impressive victory over Joanna Schneier (aka Lola). Katanah Hamidi won an exciting contest in the masters middleweight women’s division after video evidence corrected a mistake in the time recorded for her farmers/deadlift run. Joshua Lancaster edged out Adam Lorimer in the two-man race among masters middleweight men, and Arnold Gardetto narrowly emerged victorious ahead of Bryan Schwartz in a crowded masters heavyweight men’s field.


In the novice divisions, Kristina Kramer won the heavyweight women’s card in convincing fashion. Dustin Beasley won lightweight men’s novice, and Steve Bacon took home the win in the middleweight men’s division. The novice heavyweight men’s division featured a battle between Codys, with Cody Mach emerging victorious over Cody Forbes.


We want to thank everyone--volunteers, athletes, and spectators--who made the day what it was. A special shout-out goes to Anna Mosikaka’s family, who provided freshly cooked food to everyone there. We are incredibly grateful.


We look forward to our next competition, The Beast of the Bay Strength Challenge at Iron Warehouse in Hayward on May 22. These competitions are invaluable to our growth as athletes and as a community. We’ll catch you in May, if not before.


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