Over the Top

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Top rolls, shoulder rolls, back pressure and straight drives are just some of the maneuvers that will be used by some of the strongest arms in Alabama this Saturday.

The 24th Alabama State Arm Wrestling Championship will be held at Chase Pub & Grille on Valleydale Road on Feb 8.

The event is sanctioned by the American Armsport Association (AAA) and promoter Tommy Bullard said he expects up to 200 competitors in the open competition, double elimination contest.

Divisions include Men’s Right Hand, 70kg (0-154 pounds), 78kg (155-171 pounds), 86kg (172-189 pounds), 95kg (190-209 pounds), 105 kg (210-231 pounds) and 105+kg (232 pounds and over); Men’s Left Hand, 70 kg (0-154 pounds), 95 kg (155-209 pounds) and 105 kg (210 pounds and over); and Women’s Open Weight.

Weigh-in begins at 10 a.m. and competition starts at

1 p.m.

Bullard said the open competition is expected to draw participants from across the southeast, including some well-known names in the sport.

&uot;This is where you meet the big dogs,&uot; Bullard said.

Representing Shelby County will be Montevallo’s Debbie Killingsworth who has never lost a pull, or match, in Alabama. Killingsworth holds titles from numerous tournaments and has even traveled overseas to competed in international competitions.

&uot;I don’t need to get phsyched up. I walk up, do what I need to do and walk away,&uot; Killingsworth said. &uot;When I start pulling I concentrate on my grip and my opponent and what I need to do.&uot;

Killingsworth said she enjoys the comradery of the sport and said she often socializes with other competitors before a pull. However, when the time comes to square off against another competitor, Killingsworth is all business.

In May, 2002 she proved that feelings don’t follow her to the table when she defeated Stacey Bice for the championship in a tournament at Lake Charles, Louisiana.

&uot;When you get up to the table it’s war,&uot; Killingsworth said.

Bice, 25, is one of Killingsworth’s three daughters. But her biggest thrill, she said, was defeating the daughter of legendary arm wrestler Cleve Dean.

&uot;I got more out of that than any tournament,&uot; she said.

Bullard encourages anyone with an interest to come to the event, to participate or just watch. There is a registration fee to compete.

For more information on the Alabama State Arm Wrestling Championship contact Tommy Bullard at (205) 988-3721, Glenn Brooks at (256) 839-5954 or Chase Pub & Grille at (205) 733-0528