The Kenny Bostic Memorial Armwrestling Tourament in Hawthorne Nevada this year was epic! Two days of Armwrestling madness from some of the best Pullers in the country! This is one of those events that should be marked on the calendar of every Armwrestler in the country. The level of competition at this event is the best that you will find. Check out the Amazing Article written by Rick Banas II!
I also break down the level of talent at the event in the introductory style video below. Please make sure to like and subscribe to the Puller Magazine YouTube page for more in depth Armwrestling content!
ULTIMATE ARMWRESTLING LEAGUE-HAWTHORNE: DAY ONE – Friday May 14 – Amateurs and Masters Competition –
The atmosphere at Buck and Cassie Hall’s Barley’s Sports Bar was one of intense anticipation as some of the best arm wrestlers in the United States converged on Hawthorne, Nevada. Name your favorite professional puller and they were probably standing in the crowd waiting to cheer on the amateurs and masters on the first night of competition for the Kenny Bostic Memorial Freedom Pull.Craig “The Fury” Tullier? He’s there. Jamie Sheldon, Mr. NatFit? He’s here too. So were the giants, world champion Kody Spur Merritt, Robbie Topie, Derek Smith and Abo Rehkviashkili. You knew the intensity was ramping up when you could spot a pair of legends like Ron Bath and Andrew “Cobra” Rhodes in the shadows. Name your size, pick your poison, whatever your weight class, there was bound to be an opponent just waiting to grip up on the table under the watchful gaze of UAL father-and-son master referees Bill and Chris Collins as well as senior referee Tim Tallmadge.On hand was the guest of honor, arm wrestler Jody Williams and his wife Becky, representing the Long Live Dono Foundation in honor of their late son, Donovan, an organ donor. It’s the first time that the Kenny Bostic Memorial Fund shared top billing fund-raising efforts with another deserving charity. The tournament started off with a spectacular Armed Forces Day weekend fireworks show in the skies overhead but it was on the stage at Barley’s where the real rockets were going off. A pair of teenagers, 19-year old super heavyweight Carter “The Babyfaced Assassin” Leuthauser and 16-year old 185-pounder, Jack Krusi, made impressive splashes in their respective classes. Krusi was bolstered by outstanding coaching from pros Merritt and Tullier, both of whom were in his corner for every battle on the table. Krusi, who has only been arm wrestling two years, said tips from his mentors proved invaluable as he won both the left and right titles in the 166-185 amateur division. All three live in Utah.
“I’ve been training with them for a while and they both have helped me tremendously with my skills on the table,” said Krusi, who originally reached out to Merritt after watching him on YouTube. “It has helped me focus on something I didn’t even realize was a sport. Now it is my passion and what I love to do.”Tullier said that when he first met Krusi, he was shocked at how strong and mature Krusi was, saying that Krusi had more tools when he started out than Tullier ever did at the same age. Merritt agrees with Tullier’s assessments. “Krusi is the future of this sport and his potential is unlimited,” Tullier says. “What a great kid. He’s humble, polite and focused, which is everything you would want in a young arm wrestler just starting out.” Leuthauser made a spirited run in both of his classes before finishing second in both hands to an older competitor more than 20 years his senior. The young big man served notice that he will be a force in the 233+ pound class for years to come. In the other amateur weight classes, Sacramento’s Mike Woock completed his miraculous medical comeback from major brain surgery by winning the 232-pound left-handed class in a thrilling war with Todd Corey that may have been the match of the night. In the masters division for men 40 and over, Jody Williams captured both the left and right 206+ titles with his powerful lightning-fast hits proving too much for Paul Stevens and Mark Metscher, respectively, in the finals. Amateur results: Championship matches-Right-handed classes165 pounds: Dominik Elston defeated Wyatt Moss185 pounds: Jack Krusi defeated Caleb Velasco205 pounds: Dustin DeWoody defeated Lorenzo Fiez232 pounds: Lorenzo Fiez defeated Aaron Castillo233+ pounds: Mark Metscher defeated Carter Leuthauser Championship Matches-Left-handed classes165 pounds: Dominik Elston defeated Santino Bravo185 pounds: Jack Krusi defeated Caleb Velasco205 pounds: Dustin DeWoody defeated Doug Brownfield232 pounds: Mike Woock defeated Todd Corey233+ pounds: Mark Metscher defeated Carter Leuthauser Masters 40 and over: Left: Jody Williams defeated Paul Stevens Right: Jody Williams defeated Mark Metscher
ULTIMATE ARMWRESTLING LEAGUE-HAWTHORNE, NV: DAY TWO – Open/Professionals, Women’s and Super Matches –
When tournament sponsor Cassie Hall finished belting out a beautiful rendition of the national anthem that drew thunderous roars of applause from the assembled spectators at Joe’s Tavern on Armed Forces Day, the second round of the Kenny Bostic Memorial Freedom Pull arm wrestling tournament kicked into high gear.An even larger crowd was on hand for the event, which shifted to Joe’s Tavern on Saturday after packing Barley’s Sports Bar on Friday for the amateur and masters portion of the tournament.Joe’s Tavern owners Buck and Cassie Hall, who also own Barley’s, were honored with plaques by the Ultimate Armwrestling League for their tournament sponsorship as was Billie Williams for his promotional services and efforts on behalf of the event. Onstage on the table, it was the guys from Utah that dominated the tournament, capturing five gold medals in the pro classes and when combined with Smithfield, Utah amateur Jack Krusi’s two golds the previous night, gave the Utah contingent seven gold medals on the weekend.
World champion Kody Spur Merritt of Mendon, Utah won the left and right super heavyweight crowns and Jordan “The Thrill” Sill of Layton, Utah accomplished the same feat in the 232-pound class. Craig “The Fury” Tullier of Salt Lake City, Utah captured the right-handed 205-pound class. Supermatch #1: Ron Bath vs. Armen Chapukhyan-Left handWith the rich, mellifluous voice of supermatch announcer Andrew “Cobra” Rhodes booming over the loudspeakers, Bath countered a fast hit by Chapukhyan to win the first match of the best-of-five series via a power hook. The Armenian then lost the next two matches on elbow fouls, giving Bath a clean 3-0 sweep. Super Match #2: Bath vs. Chapukhyan: Right hand Bath left no doubt in this one, sweeping Chapukhyan 3-0 in dominating fashion with a pair of pins and another elbow foul-out on the Armenian, who had no answer for Bath’s powerful right hand. Bath also provided a bit of comic relief during the tournament at intermission by accepting a challenge from an Abraham Lincoln impersonator in the crowd to a best-of-three right hand supermatch. Being the American patriot he is on Armed Forces Day, Bath good-naturedly allowed the former President to pin him for the win in the final match after both men split the first two.
Afterwards, Bath vowed revenge on the tall, thin, bearded former rail splitter and vampire hunter from Illinois, demanding a rematch at the 2022 Freedom Pull next year. Super Match #3: Justin Bishop vs. Paul Talbott- Left hand Bishop came into the supermatch hoping to back up his statement that he was the best left-handed arm wrestler in the United States under 200 pounds. But it wasn’t a great day for the Bama Bull as Talbott pulled off a 3-0 sweep of the best-of-five series as Bishop conceded Talbott’s superiority with a respectful bow from the waist and two-handed salute. According to Rhodes, Bishop admitted to him later that he was feeling a lot of pressure, saying nothing in his impressive arsenal of tactics seemed to be working for him on the night. Bishop was later found to have injured his elbow, which contributed to the subpar outing for the Bama Bull. Unfortunately for Bishop and Talbott, the best left-handed 205-pounder in the professional tournament on the night was A.J. Henson, who captured the gold in an outstanding performance. There were several double winners, most notably Oleh Moisei, who won both the left and right 185 pound championships and finished second in the 205 left class.
On the ladies side, Aleksandra Ozerova took both the left and right 154-pound and under championships and took second to Ana Kenah in the 155+ left-hand division. Kenah also won the 155+ right-hand class.
165-pound Derenik Stepanyan was the surprise winner of the men’s right-handed overalls, knocking off Moisei in a thrilling finals duel.
Professional Men’s Championship match results-Right hand
Men’s 165-pounds: Derenik Stepanyan defeats Roman Gromov.
Men’s 185-pounds: Oleh Moisei defeats Roby Russell.
Men’s 205-pounds: Craig Tullier defeats Paul Talbott.
Men’s 232-pounds: Jordan Sill defeats Alex Beziazykov.
Men’s 233+ pounds: Kody Spur Merritt defeats Michael Coberg.
Professional Men’s Championship match results-Left hand
Men’s 165-pounds: Roman Gromov defeats Derenik Stepanyan.
Men’s 185-pounds: Oleh Moisei defeats Eli Saidov.
Men’s 205-pounds: A.J. Henson defeats Oleh Moisei.
Men’s 232-pounds: Jordan Sill defeats Alex Beziazykov.
Men’s 233+pounds: Kody Spur Merritt defeats Robbie Topie.
Right-hand overalls champion: Derenik Stepanyan.
Women’s Championship match results-Right hand
154-pounds: Aleksandra Ozerova defeats LiErin Wilson
155+pounds: Ana Kenah defeats LiErin Wilson
Women’s Championship match results-Left hand.
154-pounds:Aleksandra Ozerova defeats LiErin Wilson
155+pounds: Ana Kenah defeats Aleksandra Ozerova
Story by Rick Banas II-UAL Senior Staff Sports Writer