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Strongman competition raises money for local charities

by Corey McKean
Sports reporter - The Littleton Courier

Jocelyn Delworth, women's heavyweight division winner is pictured loading the 175-lb Stone of Steel. Courtesy Photo. (click for larger version)
June 19, 2017
LITTLETON — Ace Fitness, of Littleton hosted its fourth annual White Mountain Strongman competition on Saturday, June 10, at Remich park. Thirty-eight athletes from all over New England came to battle it out in five different strongman events: Press medley, last man standing yoke, hex bar deadlift, carry medley and stone of steel over bar. The athletes competed in weight classes and accrued points depending on how they placed in each event.

April Rom of Tyngsboro, Mass. finished the women's novice class in first place, Emily Trahan of Lunenburg, Vt. took the victory in the Middleweight Women's class, and Jocelyn Delworth of Danville, Vt. locked down the win in the Women's Heavyweight decision.

In the men's novice division, Jake Ballestrini of Norwich, Conn. took first place while Lee Vandergraaf of Hudson secured the win in the under 200 class. In the under 231 weight class, Joe Grossi of Nashua took the win.

Trahan, Delworth, Vandergraaf and Grossi all secured a qualification to Strongman Corporation Nationals, which is held in Las Vegas in November.

The event raised over $1,750, which will be split between two charities in New Digs for Dogs Rescue and the Eugene McDonough Foundation. Ryan and Kellie Largay, who host the event, got both of their dogs from New Digs for Dogs Rescue, which is located in North Haverhill. The Eugene McDonough foundation was set up in memory of fallen firefighter Eugene McDonough, and supports local future firefighters.

"I'm pleased with how the day went," explained Ace Fitness owner Ryan Largay. "We had a lot of really strong men and women battling it out and pushing themselves to their limit. It's always a rewarding feeling to see these athletes succeed and support each other out there."

Largay holds a Strongman training group at Ace Fitness every Saturday morning where he trains men and women for the sport. He has been competing himself for 10 years and is the reigning national champion in the under 200-lb weight class.

"It's great to see the sport continually evolving. 10 years ago, there were almost no women competitors, and now it's an almost an equal split between men and women. It's really great to see," Largay added.

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