USS Nationals Preview | USS Nationals Highlights
Over 200 competitors gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 5 for the return of one of the most prestigious titles in American strength sports! Many stars of the sport of strongman have claimed this title at one point in their careers, and the 2021 version of this event could very well serve as the launching pad of several champions.
"It was more exciting [than most competitions] and is honestly the biggest competition here in the USA," says super-heavyweight champ Jon Lester, who flew into Minneapolis on Thursday and ate "everything in sight" for two days before the competition. "With restrictions this year, they only had 400 spots available, and I was lucky to get one of those spots."
All of the final standings for each division have been posted online. Congratulations to all of the winners, and kudos to all of the men and women who competed in this big contest. The 2022 USS Nationals is currently scheduled to take place June 25, 2022, in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Here are three highlights of the big day in the North Star State:
Jon Lester Wins Super-Heavyweight Title
Lester was locked in a battle with Niko Chaprales in the men's open super-heavyweight division. Lester started out on the right foot with a tie for first place in the log and axle press medley with 5 reps in 60 seconds. Chaprales came back with a vengeance thanks to a winning effort in the deadlift for reps. He was able to perform 12 reps with the 700 pounds that was on the bar.
Neither man won the final event, but in the end, it was Lester who was able to beat Chaprales by 4 seconds in the stone carry and load to secure the victory! Lester was coached by Gabriel Pena, who is currently an alternate for the 2021 World's Strongest Man. It may not be long before we see them taking part in world-class competitions as opponents, as well.
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Jessica Mitchell Is Women's Middleweight Champion
In the women's 165-pound division, Jessica Mitchell, one of the subjects of our USS Nationals preview, wanted to replace the memory of finishing third two years ago by being on top of the podium in 2021. The competition came down to her and Megan Hogg who was having a heck of a day in her own right.
The two ladies traded victories in the first four events. As with Lester's win, Mitchell would have to take first place in the final contest. She clearly saved the best for last because she managed to load all three stones in less than 22 seconds, over 12 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Hogg came in third, and Mitchell leaves Minnesota as the champ!
Tyler Calabrese Wins Men's Heavyweight Division
Another close battle took place in the men's 275-pound division, and it was a battle of Tylers. Tyler Calabrese and Tyler Cook were both locked in for this contest. They alternated wins in the first three events with Calabrese winning the first and third. Calabrese squeezed out the victory on points.
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