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Townsend Memorial

Todd Kartchner

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We had six competitors:

Scott ("Gottabend") Dudley (237.5 lbs.)

Ken Spafford (239 lbs.)

Dane Kolbaba (246.5 lbs.)

Nate Kolbaba (285 lbs.)

Brian Buckmaster (268 lbs.)

Me (197.6 lbs.)

Dane and Nate are my brothers-in-law. (Nate was on BYU's defensive line until he incurred a neck injury; Dane used to pitch for Texas A&M.) Ken Spafford and I clerked together for the same judge after law school (he's done very little grip training, but agreed to compete in order to have more competitors). Brian is a friend of Eric's who came out to watch and decided to participate. Scott and I were the only ones who have trained grip regularly (Dane and Brian have no prior grip experience, and Nate's only prior grip training was a little bit of thick bar work at BYU, done irregularly.


(1) Scott: #3

(2) Nate/Me: PDA 262

(3) Brian: #2

2-Hand Pinch (This event was done with the FBBC Chunk--the Chunk was set for 3.125" at the top and 5" at the bottom) [Neither the loading pin nor the Chunk were considered for purposes of poundage]

(1) Dane: 60 lbs.

(2) Brian: 55 lbs.

(3) Nate: 50 lbs.

1-Hand Deadlift with 2" Barbell

(1) Scott: 160 lbs.

Three way tie with 140: Brian, Dane, and Nate

Rectangular Fix

(1) Nate: 120 lbs.

(2) Scott: 110 lbs.

(3) Brian: 85 lbs.

1-Hand Vertical Bar Deadlift

(1) Scott: 245 lbs.

(2) Me: 235 lbs.

(3) Nate: 225 lbs.

Middle Fingers Deadlift

(1) Me: 215 lbs.

(2) Scott: 210 lbs.

(3) Three way tie: Brian, Nate, and Dane with 183 lbs.

[Everyone was pretty conservative on this lift--I think several people (esp. Scott and Nate) could have beaten me pretty easily if they had tried the lift previously.]


(1) Scott

(2) Nate

(3) Some bald guy

(4) Brian

(5) Dane

(6) Ken

We were all impressed by my brothers-in-law--they have enormous hands, and Nate closed a PDA 262 (roughly a 2.5) without ever training grippers. Dane won the pinch category without any prior grip training. Enormous grip potential here.

Eric's parents, fiancee, and several of his friends attended the event, and it was fun getting to know them. They shared a lot of great stories about Eric.

Special thanks to John Beatty--FBBC sponsored the event with three FBBC gift certificates and four T-shirts (thanks so much, John!). Also, special thanks to Smitty for sending an easy #3 to fall between the PDA 262 and my tougher #3. Finally, I want to extend special thanks to: (1) my wife, Bethany, who did a lot of work behind the scenes to help make this event happen; and (2) my friend, Tim Struse, who drove 90 minutes from Tucson to serve as the judge for the competition. In addition, we appreciate the PRs from people on the Gripboard (Eric's parents were very moved by Eric Milfeld's account and that gripsters from Germany thought enough of Eric to post--thanks everyone.)

Congratulations to Scott as the overall winner--he's a strong man, and a very nice guy as well. (He also has a very nice family.)

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Great job Todd! I know Eric's family and friends appreciate what you've done. I know I do.


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Todd and his beautiful wife did a wonderful job! My hat's off to Todd for undertaking this endeavor to commemorate his friend.

Thanks to Todd's friend Tim for officiating. He was very patient and did a great job.

Was nice to meet Eric's family, fiance, and friends. Great folks! Think Eric's dad will take up grip training as will Brian. They all seemed to really enjoy themselves.

As for the two Kolbaba brothers (Nate and Dane)... if we can entice them into training grip - well, lookout. These guys have wicked potential. Absolutely HUGE hands and a natural propensity for strength. Real nice guys to boot.

Todd - Eric would have been pleased. Nice job!

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Todd, it looks like your tribute was a great success. It's nice to know that Eric's parents appreceiated the efforts of all the competitors.

And by the way, congratulations to all for some fine lifting!

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