Held: Feb 16th and 17th, 2002
At: The Blaisdell Exhibition Center, Honolulu, HI.
Reported by: J.V. Askem

This contest almost didn't happen when its regular promoter, Malcom Lutu had to bow out due to personal business. However, veteran strongman, Joe Onosai came to the rescue and took over the promotion duties just 4 weeks out.

Unlike previous years, this year's contest was opened up to a lighter men's class (under 219 lbs), plus a women's class. Although not a big contest, as far as the number of entries, Hawaii Strongest Man always attracts some of the best strength athletes. Also it should be noted, contrary to rumor, Hawaii's Strongest Man is the oldest continuing running strongman contest in the USA.

The first event was the heavyweight Yoke (800 lbs) for 90 feet with a 90 second time limit. Grant Higa was 1st with Tony Leiato 2nd and this set the stage for a battle between these two right down to the seventh and last event. National 220 lb class USAPL champion, Tony Harris was 3rd on the Yoke. Tony weighed in slightly heavier than usual at 241 lbs.

The second event was the lightweight Log Lift. Shane Ahlo won with a 260 lb effort, with Neil Caballero 2nd and Mike Castillo 3rd. The heavyweight Log followed with Tony Leiato winning with a 342 lb effort, although at the time he thought he only had lifted 320!!! As it turned out we found out the next day that the log used was 22 lbs heavier. Thus James Barrentos who took 2nd place actually lifted 327 lbs instead of the 305 he called for.

The third event, which was the first for the women, was the Farmers Walk. It was 180 feet in 90 seconds with a pair of 130 pounders. One turn around at the halfway point. Veteran strongwoman Lynn Silbert won with Paula Suzuki 2nd.

The women were followed by the lightweight men doing the same time and distance with a pair of 200 pounders. Here Shane Ahlo open up his lead with a second win. U.S. Army veteran Allan Leth was second. It should be noted that Leth, usually a 181 lb PL'er, was about 30 lbs lighter than Ahlo.

The heavyweight Farmers Walk was a close one, with Grant Higa, at 33.5 seconds, edging out James Barrentos who did it in 35.25 seconds. The distance and time were the same, but the weights were two 275 pounders.

The next event, and last for the first day, was the Deadlift For Reps. The women went first using 275 lbs, and Paula Suzuki easily won with 30 perfectly performed reps. Lynn did 20 reps, also with good form.

The lightweight men's DL was won easily by the soldier, Allan Leth, who did 19 reps with the designated weight of 450 lbs. Quincy Guzman and Neil Caballero were 2nd and 3rd with 10 reps each. The placing was determined by bwt.

The heavyweight DL was no surprise when Tony Harris, one of the nation's best DL'ers, did 15 reps with the designated 550 lbs. Tony Leiato was 2nd with 12 reps and Grant Higa was 3rd with 10 reps.

The first day's standings
Heavyweight                      Lightweight                      Women
Grant Higa--------24           Allen Leth---------14        Lynn Silbert------3
Tony Leiato-------23           Shane Ahlo--------13        Paula Suzuki-----3
Tony Harris-------18           M. Castillo--------13
James Barrentos-16          N. Caballero-------11

This day started with a Bench Press for reps. No bench shirts and no elbow wraps were allowed. Also butts had to stay on the bench. The athlete was only allowed to lower the bar at the referee's signal, otherwise it didn't count. Lynn Silbert went first doing approximately her bodyweight of 165 lbs. She did 20 reps. Paula Suzuki, who was 10 lbs lighter, took 155 lbs for an easly 22 reps just to win. No surprise here considering Paula is the Queen Of The Bench Pressers, having done 403 lbs at just 159 lbs bwt.

The lightweight bench for reps was a surprise, when long armed Allen Leth pushed up the designated weight of 275 lbs for 17 reps. Mike Castillo was 2nd with 16 reps, and Shane Ahlo was 3rd with 15 reps.

No surprise who would win the heavyweight BP. Tony Lieato did 11 reps with the designated 405 lbs. Tony's best competion BP is 606 lbs. Viliami Mafi was 2nd on the BP with 9 reps, and James Barrentos was 3rd with 8 reps.

The second event of the second day was the traditional strongman favorite the Truck Pull, and promoter Joe Onosai procured a couple great ones!! The women ended up pulling a 17,000 lb Tow Truck with Lynn Silbert beating Paula 41.81 seconds to 53.55 seconds. Thus both women at this point were tied on points.

The lightweights opted to use the 33,000 lb Tow Truck, that was originally designated just for the heavyweights, but it proved too much! Only Shane Alho could pull it the full distance of 90 feet. But ironcally the lightest man in the contest, Wes Chun at only 177 lbs, came 2nd.

All the Heavyweights pulled the designated distance with James Barrentos winning in 37.65 seconds. Grant Higa posted the 2nd best time at 40.89, with Tony Leiato 3rd at 47.9 seconds.

Thus we were down the final event, The Medley, which consisted of 4 flips with a truck tire. The women flipped a 450 pounder, and both the light anf heavy men flipped a 725 pounder. After the tire the women then had to carry two 100 lb gas cans 15 feet, then drag a sled (220 lbs) 45 feet. The light men had heavier weights to carry (two 220 lb beer kegs). Then drag a 440 lb sled. And the heavyweights had the same sled, but had to carry two 440 lb weights 15 feet first.

Paula Suzuki won what had to be the closest contest ever!!! just beating Lynn Silbert by 2/100 of a second (38.37 to 38.39).

Shane Alho was able to win Lightweight medley, and also win the contest overall, when Allan Leth tripped a fell. Shane's time was 44.62 seconds. Mike Castillo was 2nd at 45.78, with Leth 3rd at 55.93 seconds.

Finally, the Heavweight Medley was won by newcomer Joe Edsman, who was in his first strongman contest. Joe edged out Tony Leiato 52.78 seconds to 52.84 seconds.

Thus the contest was over, and I must mention that the experienced crew ran it like clock work. This contest was a great show for spectators, just taking only 3 hours 20 minutes the first day, and 3 hours the second day. Also there was excellent announcing by Champ on Saturday, and Charlie Caouette on Sunday. And finally, as always, veteran referee P.J. Couvillion did an excellent job keeping things on the straight and narrow.

My many thanks the Joe Onosai and his crew for their hospitality. JVA

The final results

Heavyweights (219 lbs and over)
1.Tony Lieato----------41
2.Grant Higa-----------35
3.James Barrentos---33
4.Tony Harris----------29
5.Viliami Mafi---------24
6. Joe Edsman---------18
7. Steve Hurley--------16

Lightweights (under 219)
1.Shane Ahlo----------29
2.Allan Leth-----------28
3.Mike Castillo-------25
4.Quincy Guzman----17
5.Neil Caballero------15
6.Wes Chun------------12

Paula Suzuki----------8
Lynn Silbert-----------7