By Paul Mouser
America’s Strongest Man/Woman is almost here, and the competitive landscape for pro strongmen and strongwomen in the US looks as good as perhaps it ever has. Last time we talked, we covered the middleweight women’s class for ASW, and today we take a look at the lightweight women (64kg/140lbs), perhaps the most overlooked division in the pro ranks.
Three lightweight ladies are vying for the title of America’s Strongest Woman on 11/7-11/8:
Laura Anderson, Highest placing LW 2018 Arnold Pro
Kristin Graham, 3rd 2019 Nationals
Rebecca Lorch, 2019 National Champion
These ladies will face off in 6 events over 2 days:
Circus Bell Press for Reps, 45kg/100lbs
Sandbag Toss Over 13ft, 11kg/25lbs x1, 14kg/30lbs x2, 16kg/35lbs x1
Basket Deadlift, 175kg/385lbs
Arm Over Arm Truck Pull
Husafell Carry Max Distance, 91kg/200lbs
Sandbag Carry & Load, 59kg/130lbs, 68kg/150lbs, 82kg/180lbs, 95kg/210lbs
So how will this all shake out for the LW pro women come game day? Each of these ladies have very different strengths and vulnerabilities, which means at the end of the day whoever comes in prepared best for their bogey events may be the one that hoists the title at the awards ceremony.
Graham does her best work with her feet planted firmly, so the Circus Bell could be a great start to the show for her. Anderson is tall for the division, with long arms, and suffers a bit here due to how far that giant dumbell has to travel.
The Sandbag Toss is anyone’s ballgame here, but I’ll go with Lorch on this one. Anderson is a very intelligent competitor in her preparation, but with her playing such a big role in 2020 Nationals on the organizational side so close to this competition, I have to wonder if her reputation for technical mastery could take a hit here due to such distractions.
Events 3 and 4 are where Laura will stand out however, as her overall back strength is as good as anyone’s. The Basket Deadlift will be a great showdown between Anderson and Graham, and I’ll hedge my bets on Laura to take sole first on the Arm Over Arm due to her advantage in the grip department.
The Max Distance Husafell Carry is about more than just strength; it’s equal parts sheer physical strength and iron clad mental toughness. When it comes down to who wants it more, and who is able to push beyond mental barriers, it’s a tough call, but something tells me to look out for Rebecca Lorch here.
The final challenge is a brutal Carry & Load with sandbags, and Graham may be a step behind on this one given who she’s up against. Anderson has the experience edge at these types of big shows, but Lorch is a young, hungry contender who has proven her might in odd object type events.
Paul’s prediction: due to each lady having highs and lows and only 3 of them to separate points, I see a 3 way tie for 1st, and thus the Front Hold tie breaker event coming into play here. I didn’t write all this to cop out at the end and fail to give a final opinion, so here it goes… Rebecca Lorch takes the crown and a sensible argument could be made for any of these 3.
What do you think strong people? Who takes the win at ASW in the LW women’s division?