Archive for June 17, 2014

CHAD COY BRINGS STRONGEST MEN IN AMERICAN BACK TO KOKOMO

Strongman Chad Coy looks superior on the Hercules hold. (Photo by Michael Hickey)

Strongman Chad Coy looks superior on the Hercules hold. (Photo by Michael Hickey)

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – With 152 of the strongest and fittest athletes in the nation in Kokomo, Chad Coy and Club Fitness 24 hosted its 17th Annual Central USA Strongman competition. The event has grown into one of the largest – and oldest – in the nation.

“It is a cool event,” said Coy with an understatement. “And the scary thing is we could have 300 people here if we wanted. People want to come to Kokomo each year because it is a great event. But we do grow it each year. This is the 42nd show we have promoted in Kokomo over 20 years – we are getting kind of good at it.”

Coy said the event is an event that athletes want to participate in, year in and year out. It is also a small boon to the local economy, something he is proud of.

“About 111 of the competitors were from outside of Kokomo, so they come here, spend the night and spend their money,” he said. “Most of our people are repeaters – about half are ones who came back.”

One draw is the fact the Kokomo event has a strong history. In fact, it is one of the oldest in the country.

“We are now the grand-daddy of all Strongman contests in the United States. It makes me feel older, that is for sure,” said Coy with a laugh. “When we started, there were just not many contests in the US. Of the four or five, none are still running. We have done the most shows in the country, so people know who we are.”

Again this year, Coy hosted the Jackal’s Gym Presents 3rd Annual Master America’s Strongest Man, which was open to professional strongmen over the age of 40. The event featured dumbbell press, log incline press, arm-over-arm pull, Hercules hold, power stairs and three other events

“Guys still want to compete but there is no place for us to compete,” said Coy. “You don’t want to compete in the open class at 40 and toss around 1,000 pounds. I could still compete in the open class, I just choose not to because there is no chance of winning. So that is why we came up with this idea.”

Coy – who has won in his share of events and is a previous competitor for America’s Strongest Man – said he ran the idea through the American Strongman Corporation, who endorsed the new concept.

“We ran the first one in 2012, and it is cool that we have had the same guys come back,” said Coy. “We have five the first year and 10 this year. It is kind of a who’s who of Strongman – we had past winners of the open division.”

Plans are already underway for version 18 of Central USA Strongman and the fourth edition of the masters competition, which Coy said will be bigger and better than the previous 17 – something he is proud of as a leader in the Strongman universe.

STRONGMAN RESULTS

Kokomo, Indiana  |  June 7, 2014

Central USA Strongman (winners)

Men’s Novice … Preston Collier

Men’s Masters … Brian Summerton

Men’s Lightweight … Grant DuCharme

Men’s Middleweight … Nick Bielawski

Men’s Heavyweight … Caleb Perkins

Women’s Novice … Sammie Gordon

Women’s Masters … Stacy Bentley

Women’s Lightweight … Rachel Pace

Women’s Middleweight … Jessica Rush

Women’s Heavyweight … Brittney Cornelius

4th Annual Master America’s Strongest Man

1. Chad Coy (64.0)

2. Van Hatfield (62.0)

3. Rob Lewis (59.5)

4. Brad Dunn (58.5)

5. Grant Higa (52.5)

Inaugural Iron Games (men)

1. Matt Urch (34.5)

2. Shay Harden (32.5)

3. Andrew Dulmes (32.0)

Inaugural Iron Games (women)

1. Rachel Pace (18.0)

2. Tiffany Hanson (16.0)

3. Kourtney Hainlen (14.0)

 

KATS JEREMY BREEDLOVE TAKES FOURTH AT STATE, THREE OTHERS EARN MEDALS FROM HOWARD COUNTY

Jeremy Breedlove 2

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

BLOOMINGTON – One year after winning championships in boys and girls track and field individual events, Howard County athletes enjoyed another solid outing at the IHSAA Track and Field State Championships, bringing home four podium finishes. With 11 student-athletes qualifying for the trip to Indiana University’s Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex, it was Kokomo’s Jeremy Breedlove who garnered the highest finish.

The IUPUI recruit claimed a fourth place finish in the 1,600-meter run after leading at the bell. Entering with the No. 1 seed, Breedlove found himself in a tight pack for the first two laps. He broke free at the beginning of the final 400-meter lap, but knew he did not have a large enough lead to hold off eventual champion Joe Murphy of Lawrence North.

“I’m happy; I made the podium,” said Breedlove. “I knew that if Murphy was anywhere close to me at 200-meters I was cooked. So I tried to take him out that last lap; unfortunately, that was detrimental because I just died those last 100-meters. I have no regrets; I did the best I could.”

Kokomo pole vaulter Avery Barrett cleared the first height and finished 16th with a final vault of 14-0. Western junior Corey Hinkle, who finished third in the state wrestling finals and was an all-state football player, continued his outstanding season with a 24th place finish in the discus. Cameron Oden of Northwestern clocked a :23.32 for 25th in the 200-meter run. And Western senior Matt Grider made his third trip to the state meet, finishing 19th in two events – the 3,200-meter run (Breedlove finished 26th) and 3,200-meter relay (joining Jacob Bradshaw, Auston Davenport and Josh Everetts).

On the girls side, a pair of Northwestern Purple Tigers returned home with medals around their necks. Taryn Thor capped her high school career with an eighth place finish in the 3,200-meter run. And in her second trip to the state finals, Amber Miller stood on the podium in ninth place in the long jump.

For Kokomo, freshman Lana Pham cleared the high jump at 5-4 to score a ninth place finish. He sister, Anh, made a third trip to the state meet and finished 15th in the pole vault. The senior Pham sister qualified last year but was unable to complete due to an injury. Deju Miller of Kokomo closed out the Howard County competition with a 15th place finish in the high jump.

KOKOMO BASEBALL COACH TIM WEEKS NOT RETAINED AFTER FOUR SEASONS AT THE HELM

Tim Weeks

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – It had the makings to be one of his most enjoyable seasons coaching baseball in a sparkling new stadium. Instead, Tim Weeks learned he would not return for a fifth season as the head coach of the Kokomo Wildkats. Weeks will not be at the helm of the Kats when they play in the inaugural game at Kokomo Municipal Stadium next spring after being told his coaching contract would not be renewed.

The Northwestern High School graduate had a 46-62 (24-30 in the NCC) record in four seasons as the Wildkats skipper. He was coming off his best showing in the North Central Conference at 6-6, good for third place. But Kokomo did not win a sectional title during his time running the program after the Kats won two in the previous four seasons.

In the Kokomo School Corporation’s only statement, Director of Communications David Barnes said Week’s contract was not renewed, “at the recommendation of the athletic director.” Weeks said he was disappointed and does not agree with the corporation’s decision. He also contends he did nothing wrong.

“The powers that be decided they wanted to go in a different direction, so they did,” said Weeks. “Was it fair? No. Was it right? No. But they made the decision to move on with the baseball program. I did nothing wrong. Am I perfect? No. But people who really know me will tell you how important my integrity and faith are to me.”

Weeks was an assistant coach for the Kats when he took over a highly successful Kokomo program following Steve Edwards resignation (Edwards is now principal at Frankfort High School). In Edwards six seasons, the Kats were 133-45 with a pair of sectional titles and a trip to the 2007 IHSAA Class 4A state title game. With head coaching experience in high school football, Weeks – who endured an injury-plagued season in 2013 and a young squad in 2014 – said he understands the inherit challenges of coaching at the prep level.

“I am not a college coach,” Weeks said. “I don’t recruit my players, thus I am doing the best I can with what I have. I gave my best and have nothing to hang my head about.”

Despite the school’s not renewing his contract, he had a message for his supporters.

“Don’t feel sympathy for me; I am a blessed man,” said Weeks, who is a devout Christian. “I have a beautiful and adoring wife and three talented, smart, respectful kids. In the real world, the true measure of a man’s worth is the family he produces. I will let mine speak for itself.”

Weeks also talked about his faith, which he relies on during difficult times.

“I am an unashamed person of faith and try daily to live a Godly life as best I can,” said Weeks. “My faith teaches that the Lord takes care of His own. I guarantee bigger and better opportunities are heading my way.”

The former Wildkat baseball coach said he wants to see the Kokomo program flourish in the future.

“So, to the future players and coaches of KHS, I wish you nothing but the best,” he said. “I truly do.”

Kokomo will start the search for a new baseball coach immediately.