Local strongman athletes stand out at national event

Quint Zambon experienced success as both a competitor and coach at the North American Strongman National Championships Nov. 3 and 4 in Tunica, Miss.

Zambon is the head strength trainer at Davis Speed Center in Crystal Lake and placed sixth in the 175-pound-and-under weight class. Also placing at nationals were Adam Corra, fourth in the 200-pound class, Paige Roeser, eighth in the women’s lightweight, and Trevor Rutokowski had a top-10 finish in the 231 division.

Roeser, a junior at Prairie Ridge, is the youngest competitor to ever qualify for nationals. She was 15 when she qualified and 16 at the competition. Zambon said to place in the top 10 at nationals at such a young age is an unbelievable accomplishment and had other competitors wondering how good Roeser could be.

“Being 16, it’s almost unheard of,” Zambon said. “I think she instilled a little fear in them.”

Rutokowski is in the division with the most competition, and the one with the most rewards. The top finisher at nationals earns their professional card.

“Next year, he wants to make a run to win it,” Zambon said. “The sport’s not big enough where you can make a ton of money, but it is a way to make some money.”

Corra had a simple goal heading into nationals – to not embarrass himself. It was also an opportunity to gauge where he was at on a national level. Corra’s weight class has the smallest number of competitors because the apparatus weigh the same as for the ones in the 231-pound class.

“As it turned out [Corra] did very, very well,” Zambon said. “The very heavy weight scares a lot of competitors.”

Zambon also qualified to compete at February’s Arnold Amateur World Championships in Columbus, Ohio. The top 40 competitors are selected to compete at Worlds, 20 from the United States and 20 internationally. The top 10 finishers at nationals automatically qualify.

Zambon said he went to Mississippi with the goal of having a chance to win. The competition was close and nearly everyone in the top 10 had a chance to win.

“I wanted to compete for the win,” Zambon said. “I met my expectations.”

While team scores were not kept, Zambon said his gym was likely one of the top three in the country at nationals.

“We’ve really established our gym as a powerhouse,” Zambon said. “Up until now, we were pretty much unknown.”

Worlds will include nearly every form of strength competition, including strongman, arm wrestling, power lifting, and body building. Zambon said the event attracts crowds of more than 100,000 people.

“It is a monster event,” Zambon said. “It’s exciting that I’ll be there.”

For information on strength training, contact Zambon at quint@davisspeedcenter.com.

• Rob Smith is a sports writer for the Northwest Herald. Write to him at rsmith@shawmedia.com.

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