The Second Annual Rougarou Classic

The Second Annual Rougarou Classic

-Matt Cavalier

What. A. Day. This was only the third strongman event that I was a part of, but it was just as much fun as I have ever had. Instead of competing this time, I volunteered to help the run operation. The weather was perfect and a roster of over fifty athletes made for a great day. On Halloween weekend at a site appropriately dressed for the occasion, the athletes went head to head and battled it out. The events included the log clean and press, 13” axle deadlifts for reps, yoke walk, Hercules hold and a stone run. All of the competitors brought everything they had and gave it their all. Cameron and I talked about the competition on our last podcast, but I’d like to expand on a few things that I saw from the competitors that impressed me through this post. I wasn’t able to watch all of the competitors in all of the events, so if I don’t mention something that deserves praise, it is not by design.

The Log Clean and Press

The log clean and press is by far my favorite strongman event. It’s a movement that requires a command of technique and an aggressive energy. Completing a heavy log clean and press, in my opinion, is one of the most satisfying feelings in the gym. In the women’s open heavy weight, Alexis Wascom and Megan Aston both put up an impressive 175 pounds. There were several strong ladies, but those two caught my attention that day.l In the men’s novice heavyweight, James Collier and Bronson St. Romain each grabbed my attention with a 300 pound log clean and press. I think both of those guys are going to turn some heads in the future. The two competitors in this event that really got my attention were Brandon Lunsford and Patrick Dequeant. I had trained with Brandon before, and knew what he was capable of. Frankly, I expected him to win this event with ease with this 350 pound log press. However, Patrick proved to be the winner with a monstrous 370 pound log press. After winning the event, he had the  guts to attempt a 400 pound log clean and press to set the USS National Record after securing the Louisiana State Record. Unfortunately, he did not get it, but I know without a doubt he can, and I can’t wait to see that happen. 

The 13” Axle Deadlift

Deadlift events are not my favorite, so anyone who can go out there and dominate that event has my respect. The weight was heavy across all divisions; this event really separated the contenders from the rest of the pack. This was a display of raw power and endurance. James Collier and Bronson St. Romain once again got my attention with 14 reps and 12 reps respectively with 500 pounds on the axle. What was especially impressive for James, he pulled for 14 reps on a partially torn calf. A fine display of perseverance. Jamie Douglas, Alexis Woscam and Amber Odom would truly set themselves apart from their competition with the deadlift as they each absolutely dominated their weight classes in the deadlift event. Of course it goes without saying, Colt “Colt 45” Swanson put on a deadlift clinic. Not only was he the only competitor in the super heavyweight division to score in this event, he did so in monstrous fashion. With 650 pounds on the axle, Colt showed off his power with 15 reps, and he had more in him when time ran out.

The Yoke Run and Hercules Hold

These events ran simultaneously, so it was difficult for me to see a lot of the competition. The yoke run was a bit of a blur, as I saw a lot of the competition in a very short amount of time. If there is one thing I clearly remember, it is Nikolas Scavona’s scrap with the 500 pound yoke run. For those of you who don’t know, Nikolas is only 16 years old. For a 16 year old to put 500 pounds on his back and compete against grown men is impressive. If nothing else, it was a fine display of testicular fortitude. For the Hercules hold, we had a very nice implementation set up, but unfortunately it was put out of commission due to...technical difficulties. However, the volunteers of the Atlas Strength Shop were quickly able to improvise and had a plan B for that exact scenario and set up a Hercules hold using the yokes. I can’t mention the Hercules hold without mentioning Mitchell Crain who won the novice men’s lightweight division in this event by a wide margin. He was able to keep his grip for a solid five and a half minutes. I think he just got tired of holding it before his grip actually gave out.


The Atlas Stone Series

To finish the day, all of the competitors would have to put six stones on platforms from lightest to heaviest. There were several impressive performances in this event in all of the weight divisions, but the most impressive to me was the performance of Stephen Newell. During the fist the event, the log clean and press, Stephen would unfortunately tear his bicep while attempting the log that would have won the event. Instead of tapping out, he pressed on. In impressive fashion, Stephen got six of his stones on the platform. Because of the injury, or at least so it appeared, he could not pick the stones conventionally. He would have to get on his knees and roll the stones into his lap, and basically goblet squat the stones up. He did not have the fastest time, but you have to respect someone who fights through an injury to stay competitive.

Overall, the day was a success. There was much improvement since last year, and there is still more to build upon for next year. I think strongman in Louisiana is headed in a good direction, and I hope to see more faces at the next competition. However, for anyone aching to get back into the fray, you won’t have to wait until next fall. On April 23, 2022, the Atlas Strength Shop will host its first Louisiana’s Strongest Man/Woman competition. Check out for event information and sign up to be a part of the strongman movement in Louisiana. If you need a place to train for Strongman, Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting, CrossFit or just looking for a place to get fit, come checkout the Atlas Strength Shop. Send an email to to schedule your next visit. We also offer coaching and programming for anyone looking for guidance. Be sure to like our Facebook page, here, and follow us on Instagram, here. If you need some high quality energy supplements, check out veteran owned and use promo code ATLASSTRENGTH to get 20% off of your order. Don’t forget to come out to Strongman Saturday every Saturday; first visits are free!

“The fears we don’t face become our limits.”