By Matt Popchock

Traditions have to start somewhere, and Rick Daman, the owner of Daman’s Strength Training in Monaca, decided what he started last summer was worth making a tradition, especially if it could publicize his business and boost the karma of his community all at once.

Therefore, the second annual Daman’s Strongman Competition was held July 15 to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Western/Central Pennsylvania.

Last year’s inaugural competition featured some of the top athletes in Beaver County, but this year’s turnout was even greater, including kids from Mars, North Allegheny, and Youngstown State University.

Eighteen competitors in three classes–high school, junior, and college–flexed their muscles in each of four tests of skill: the tire flip, sled drag, farmer’s walk, and hand-over-hand rope pull. By virtue of having the greatest cumulative point totals, A.C. Chiappetta of Beaver Falls won the high school class, Preston Johnson of Rochester won the junior class, and Chris Elkins of YSU won the college class.

For more background information on this event, check out Dave Crawley’s recent piece on KDKA-TV.

As previously promised, you can see the strongmen in action by checking out the archived broadcast of this year’s competition, courtesy of my friends at

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