Van Hatfield Takes the Lead in the MHP Pro Invitational Strongman Championships

Atlanta, Georgia - The MHP Pro Invitational Strongman Championships got off to a rocking start at the GNC Show of Strength today and Van Hatfield is in the lead at the end of the first day.

Van Hatfield blasts away on the 340-pound log. IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. photo
Van Hatfield blasts away on the 340-pound log. IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. photo

One of the names on everyone's lips before this contest even began was Van Hatfield and he didn't disappoint his fans as he ended the first day with impressive performances that put him into the lead.

The car squat was the first event, and Mark Philippi won with 21 reps, followed by Jon Andersen at 20 and Van Hatfield at 19. Van Hatfield had actually completed 21 reps, but only 19 were counted.

The log medley was next, with a series of four logs lifted (285-, 300-, 320- and 340-pounds) and the best time determined the winner.

Once again, Van Hatfield produced a shining performance, and after he had turned in the winning time, he pressed the 340-pound overhead again just to please the crowd. Karl Gillingham was a close second to Van Hatfield (about one second slower), and Steve Kirit was third.

At the end of the first day, the points are:

1. Van Hatfield 24 points
2. Jon Andersen 23 points
3. Mark Philippi 22 points
4. Phil Pfister 16.5 points
5. Steve Kirit 16 points
6. Geoff Dolan 15.5 points
7. Karl Gillingham 15 points
8. Jesse Marunde 13 points
9. Walt Gogola 12 points
10. Matt Matheny 9 points
11. Don Pope 7 points
12. Dan Ford, Shawn Smith 4 points

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