Boardman, OH (WYTV)- A record crowd showed up for the North American Strongman qualifying event at Team BSS gym Saturday. A total of 37 athletes competed in a variety of exercises which can qualify them for nationals later this year.
About 150 people attended the day-long event, with competitors from all over the Midwest. Trophies were awarded to the winners, but ultimately, it’s the fun and comaraderie that sets these strongman competitions apart.
“We look at it more of a personal thing and personal accomplishments,” said Joe Sheffield, who won the Heavyweight class. “Trying to beat your own, you know, personal records and things like that, as opposed to beating other people, is kind of the general sense of the sport. That’s what makes it a lot more fun and that’s why people stick with it for a long amount of time.”
“Everybody cheers for everybody,” said Ashley Lawrence, a middleweight competitor. “It’s not just how am i going to do today…it’s let’s cheer everyone else on and have fun.”
“When we started, there were really only three of us that started competing together,” said Brandy Schumaker, one of the event’s organizer. “Since we’ve done that…on Saturdays we have 10 to 15 people that come in. So it’s definitely grown in the past couple years.”
The National Strongman Competition will be held in Reno, Nevada this fall, with the World Competition at the Arnold Fest in Columbus next March.