VERONA, NJ - The Verona PBA Local 72 hosted the Hillbilly Strongman Competition on Saturday with all money raised going toward renovations for the Verona High School student fitness center.

Twenty-two teams of three competed in the event -- teams included VHS freshman, Verona Superintendent of Schools Rui Dionisio and members of the Verona PBA said Sgt. David Wardrope.  There were two divisions for men (Alpha/Bravo) and one form women (Charlie).  Teams traveled from as far away as Pennsylvania to compete.  Wardrope noted that although it was a PBA event, the majority of the competitors were not police officers, rather the teams consisted of a diverse variety of professional backgrounds who shared a love for strength, fitness, camaraderie and competition.

"The great thing about this competition was the simplicity.  The events were focused around general gross motor skills; pushing, pulling, carrying, lifting, etc.  There were no "technical" lifts involved and this allowed for a wide range of different skill levels to compete," Wardrope added.

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The results were as follows:

Men's Alpha

1st place - Park Warriors - Matt Yannuzzi, Ryan Perreault, Allen Malhotra

2nd place - Bar Benders - Ryan Gaffney, Jon Mickulick, Garrett Schlosser

3rd place - Beauties and the Beard - Mike Anderson, Mike Neshimka, John Badala


Men's Bravo

1st place - Team Hillbillies - Nicholas Riggio, Cade Byrne, Andrew Luehs (Verona High School Students)

2nd place - Violent Gentlemen - Ray Menendez, Nick Menendez, Rawy Torres

3rd place - VHS Freshman - Jake Maisano, Nick Algieri, Isaac Skrivanic (Verona High School Students)


Women's Charlie

1st place - Honey, Buns and Guns - Carolyn DeMiro, Jaclyn DeMiro, Courtney Roselle

2nd place - Next Fit Team 1 - Molly Girt, Stacey Girt, Brittany Ksiezopolski

3rd place - Verona PBA - Alyssa Kirby (PBA Member), Stephanie Colon (PBA Member), Samantha Schurick (Solo Competitor to complete team)

Wardrope offered thanks the Township of Verona, Chuck Molinaro and his crew at Verona DPW, members of the Verona PBA, the Verona Rescue Squad, VHS student volunteers, Coach Ray Bowes and Coach Chris Demond from the Verona High School. 

"Coach Demond does a great job developing strong, well rounded athletes and he was a big factor in this event being such a success," Wardrope noted.  "Also, thanks to Brazen Athletics who assisted with scoring and announcing the events and to everyone else who helped to make this event successful."