The Inland Empire Strongman Classic
On Feb 24, 2018, men and women from all over southern California gathered to show who among them were the strongest. The contest was held at The Works gym in Upland, Ca and was promoted by Strongman MW-200lb Athlete, Mike Gonzales, who recently competed in the Arnold Classic, in Columbus, Ohio.
The contest started off with The log/circus DB clean & press medley. Notable athlete, Joan Kongesor, a 2017 LWW Arnold competitor won the lightweight women's event but not without putting up a fight against strongwoman newcomers Juliette Fluchere and Edna Castenada. Although Edna had to pull out do to injury, Juliette battled against the much more experienced Kongesor the whole day, the division win was finally determined by a tie breaker over seen by Strongwoman legend, Kristin Rhodes.
Kongesor and Fluchere did a head-to-head front hold for time. Kongesor won the event by less than a second, the level of competitive drive between the two female athletes had the people in attendance on edge.
Team Bear, coached by new HW Pro Strongman, Jacob Finerty and Team Deadweight Strength took home the most wins for teams. having 3 athletes taking top 2 finishes in both Novice and Open weight divisions.
The day was filled with sweat, tears, tacky and a whole lot of chalk. Long time Strongman amateur athlete, MIke Reed shocked and awed the crowd by loading the 365lb atlas stone to 54" for a double, the only other athlete to duplicate the feat was Deadweight Strength athlete, Jose Baez, an upcoming HW athlete to keep an eye on.
The strongest gyms in both Central & Southern California, Las Vegas and Arizona had athletes representing them at this contest. The battle for who is the strongest will continue in June at BEST OF THE WEST.
Written by: Mike Gonzales, Competition Promoter, The Works Gym