I'll just outline my eyewitness account on NERB so this doesnt devolve into an essay
-I was surprised/disappointed by the lack of spectators. I mean, these were some big names. The problem may be that its not exactly centrally located. Amherst isn't bumblef-ck but it's not exactly a bustling metropolis
- The meet was run very well. Four and a half hours total, things were kept moving, not a lot of downtime.
-Donnie getting called high on his third squat was crap. I'm no judge, and I was in the stands, not on the side, but my opinion is that he hit depth
-Communicating the lifts was off - I thought they announced donnies third squat at 875, Sam Byrds at 710 (then listed it at 705) - I dunno, maybe I was just spacing out that day, I didnt get a lot of sleep the night before
-Sam Byrd. This guy weighed in at 210, did a 705 squat, 425 bench and pulled 600. Was he the MOST impressive lifter of the day? I hesitate to say that, since we already chewed that one over on the 700x3 deadlift thread and besides, coefficients are for skinny people. But two things about him stand out to me:
1) he was the only full meet lifter who weighs anywhere close to me (I out weigh him by 20-25lbs - although he's carrying a SIGNIFICANTLY higher lbm so I'm guessing he's like 5'9") so it was really cool to see someone about my size with some seriously heavy weights
2) I had never heard of him before. Maybe people who pay closer attention to meets would know his name, but I didnt. I was EXPECTING big numbers from donnie and mike and siders and beau, but this guy came from out of left field.
So as regards those two observations I would say that he was the most impressive in that he made the biggest IMPRESSION on me. hope that distinction makes sense
-Lifts that stand out in my mind (in addition to the aforementioned donnie and byrd lifts)
-Miller almost losing the 810. Very scary there for a tenth of a second. Also, he DEFINITELY coulda done more than 600. He isnt getting a 620 lb carryover. These squats were deep, and the way he rocketed up 600 after getting about halfway through ... he definitely left a few pounds on teh platform. Incidentally, I had no idea about what was going on with his 600 squat, I didnt realize he was talking to the judge. very pissed at myself for missing that.
-Some kid, I wish I knew his name, absolutely GRINDING through his squat attempt. Very, very cool, definitely got the crowds attention and showed a lot of heart.
- Hoornstra breaking a 35 year old 242# bench record.
-Donnie making every DL attempt look explosive and easy
- Siders' 840 DL wow. just, wow.
-Met Brian Siders after the meet, and shook his paw. And I mean paw. MASSIVE hands.
-Walked out a door and almost ran into brian schoonveld. He said "hey guy, how we doing there" and I just automatically responded "what's up schoonie" you know your sport is underground when youre walking through/into one of the bigger names and then get to call him by his nickname.
-I was talking with my training partner vinny dizenzo after the meet and mike woolf walked up and they started talking. Funny, the topic of conversation was gear. I just realized that I was standing between two men who bench a combined 1700 some-odd pounds. wow. Also, Mike Woolf has no neck. None. The bottom of his head meets his back
I saved this for last, because I'm about to get flamed, but f it, here goes anyway. I was really turned off by Kaz for two reasons
1) EVERYTHING was about kaz eg
-talking about julie scanlon "Julie is a trail blazer, much like myself"
- complimenting mike miller after discussing how much mike had been through jsut to be there that day "Mike, I am one of the strongest men in the world, and so are you"
- Talking to Nick Winters after Nick benched 650, highest of the day "... and just think, you're only 11 lbs behind me!"
Nothing that he said was inaccurate, but jeez Kaz, this is about the lifters not about you
2) The constant anti-gear ranting. I'm going out on a limb here and saying two things. First, everyone who was there obviously had SOME interest in raw lifting, after taking the time to drive up and spending the money on the ticket, so there's no need to "convince" anyone that raw lifting is worthwhile. Second, PL isnt the most spectator friendly sport, so I doubt that many people wandered in off the street and needed an explanation as to what was going on. I dunno whatever. But more importantly, I felt it was EXTREMELY disrespectful to say things like "those lifters [who wear gear] are fooling you and more importantly, fooling themselves" considering that most, if not all the guys there, are geared lifters. I assume Kaz is considering them an exception, but it just wasnt necessary. Also, the love affair that Kaz had with Siders, presumably since siders lifts IPF and "only" wears single ply gear. I thought it hilarious that Kaz unequivocally stated that Siders was the best PL walking the earth today only to have Donnie beat him in the squat 10 minutes later
I kinda have to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he was acting to a persona, but at teh same time... I mean, the guys from my gym and I were laughing our asses off, but i dont know if it was at kaz, or if he was in on the joke.