Arm Wrestling lives on at the Utah Summer Games

CEDAR CITY – With a grimace and locked grips, men and women of all ages took turns taking each other down one match after the other Saturday afternoon in the Southern Utah University J.L. Sorenson Physical Education Building for the Utah Summer Games Arm Wrestling Tournament.

Utah Summer Games Arm Wrestling Tournamanet brings competitors from all over, Southern Utah University J.L. Sorenson Physical Education Building, Cedar City, Utah, June 27, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Utah Summer Games Arm Wrestling Tournament brings competitors from all over, Southern Utah University J.L. Sorenson Physical Education Building, Cedar City, Utah, June 27, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

The level of fun and comradery in the room was surprising for a competition of this level, but competitor after competitor shook hands with their opponent before the match and high-fived or hugged the opposition after the match was over.

Many of the people in the room already knew each other, event organizer Summer Kirby said, which made it difficult for her to decide who to cheer for when her friends would go up against each other.

Spirits were high in the room, and many of the competitors said they owe the fact that there even is an arm wrestling event to Jeff and Summer Kirby, who took it over two years ago and breathed new life into a dying event.

The Kirbys are not just more organized than their predecessors, competitor Dallas Langston said, they reach out to anyone who shows interest and invites them wholeheartedly into the circle.

Utah Summer Games Arm Wrestling Tournamanet brings competitors from all over, Southern Utah University J.L. Sorenson Physical Education Building, Cedar City, Utah, June 27, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Utah Summer Games Arm Wrestling Tournament brings competitors from all over, Southern Utah University J.L. Sorenson Physical Education Building, Cedar City, Utah, June 27, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

“And it’s well known,” Langston said. “They put it on social media, they’ve got it on Facebook, they hold practices and they invite people; that’s how they got a team to come all the way from San Diego.”

Two years ago, the event was canceled and removed from the Summer Games lineup because there was a lack of interest from the public and nobody to run it, Summer Kirby said. This was devastating for her family, who are serious competitors on a national level.

Taking on the responsibility was an easy exchange for the continuance of the event, Summer Kirby said.

One competitor, Jocelyn Sackett, said the only reason she even entered the tournament was because Summer Kirby was a friend of hers. The Kirbys’ passion was contagious, she said, and after watching her friend go so far, she thought “why not?”

Both women placed in Saturday’s tournament along with the rest of the list found below:

Youth Girls 5-7

  • Alissa Kirby | Gold
  • Teegan Hardy | Silver

Youth Boys 5-7

  • Jason Dorgan | Gold

Youth Boys 8-10

  • Jerry Jesppesen | Gold
  • Ben Weeg | Silver
  • Jason Dorgan | Bronze

Youth Boys 11-13

  • Christian Tilley | Gold
  • Max Pintos | Silver
  • Jarett Kirby | Bronze

Women’s Left 122-143

  • Summer Kirby | Gold
  • Jocelyn Sackett | Silver

Women’s Left 144-up

  • Lisa Wolfley | Gold
  • Jenifer Roberts | Silver
  • Autumn Cote | Bronze

Men’s Left 0-154

  • Jacob Darr | Gold
  • Jeff Kirby | Silver
  • Ryan Norman | Bronze

Men’s left 155-176

  • Adam Holzgrove | Gold
  • Joseph Mcgrath | Silver
  • Robby Malcolm | Bronze

Men’s left 177-198

  • Clayton Langston | Gold
  • Robby Malcolm | Silver
  • Morris Lamb | Bronze

Men’s left 199-up

  • Shawn Calnan | Gold
  • Peter Mills | Silver
  • Clayton Langston | Bronze

Women’s Right 122-143

  • Summer Kirby | Gold
  • Jocelyn Sackett | Silver

Women’s right 144-up

  • Lisa Wolfley | Gold
  • Jenifer Roberts | Silver
  • Autumn Cote | Bronze

Men’s Right 0-154

  • Jacob Darr | Gold
  • Ryan Norman | Silver
  • Kirk Sanders | Bronze

Men’s Right 155-176

  • Joseph Mcgrath | Gold
  • Robby Malcolm | Silver
  • John Casey | Bronze

Men’s Right 177-198

  • Dallas Langston – Gold
  • Bill Stabler | Silver
  • Morris Lamb | Bronze

Men’s Right 199-up

  • Pete Mills | Gold
  • Dallas Langston | Silver
  • Shawn Calnan | Bronze

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 

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Email: cmiller@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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