Eaton and reformed Picton Arm Wrestling Club make provincial, national noise

Picton Arm Wrestling Club Members Oaklie Armstrong, Troy Eaton and Jeff Radford after the 2022 Provincials in Tweed May 21. (John McAlpine for the Gazette)
JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

It didn’t take long for a reassembled Picton Arm Wrestling Club to make significant pulls at the provincial and national levels.

A handful of local pullers- both seasoned and fresh to the table- performed well this summer and that includes a local legend who helped rebuild the first incarnation of the PAWC and has returned to compete and foster its growth.

Today’s version of the PAWC is young and well armed for competition- mixed in with a few seasoned pullers- the club has come away with an impressive medal haul at the Provincial level and made our name known at the 2022 Canadian National Arm Wrestling Championships in Winnipeg,” said PAWC’s John McAlpine.

All told, four members earned gold medals in their weight divisions at the Ontario Armwrestling Championships in Tweed in May. In a field with over 300 pullers, Asher Armstrong, Oaklie Armstrong, Jeff Radford and Troy Eaton all claimed gold medals in their respective classes with Eaton earning an overall tournament title.

From Left, PAWC members Jordan Hughes, Troy Eaton,  Jeff Radford and Joe Gould at the 2022 Canadian Arm Wrestling Championships in Winnipeg, MB. (Submitted Photo)

Other podium finishers included Michael MacIanlly 3rdplace under 18 under 130lbs right and left hand, Oaklie Armstrong 3rdplace under 18 under 160lb right hand, Nathaniel Biafore 3rdplace under 18 over 160lb right and left hand, Eaton 2ndplace masters under 198lb left hand and Hanna Armstrong girls under 130lb 2ndplace right and left hand.

At the National tournament level in Winnipeg, the Picton Armwrestling Club was represented by four members Jordon Hughes (first time), Jeff Radford (first time), Joe Gould and Troy Eaton.

This was a two day event with 574 competitors looking to be fitted with gold. With larger classes comes stiffer competition but Eaton was able to take home the gold in Grand Masters RH 90kg+ class and silver in the mens 90kg+ class RH.

Gould brought home a silver in the masters 100kg+ LH and a bronze in the masters 100kg+ RH classes while Radford finished a respectable 4thplace in the men’s 100kg open class.

Radford is rapidly stepping to front of the line and in eight short months, he has captured his first provincial title and finished forth at the national level in his class,” Mcalpine noted. “ Understanding the technique, the dedication, and a desire not to be beaten, he’s loving the adrenaline rushes at the table and is looking forward to next year’s national championships in New Brunswick. 

 For Eaton, a former household name on the national circuit, a return to the table took some convincing.

However, the results proved there wasn’t much rust when it came time to lock hands under the bright lights of competition

Teammates I trained with years ago have kids participating in the sport and I was asked to come train them as the club started to build itself back up,” Eaton said “After the first few practices, I felt the passion returning.”

Eaton credited the enthusiasm of the young members of the PAWC that stoked the fires to return to the sport as well as a physical support team that included the likes of Brogan Courtney, Kathy McAlpine Terpstra and Cindy McNeely that assisted him in regaining his form in a physical sense.

The young kids asked me to give my years of experience to help them grow but I didn’t realize that they were helping me gain my passion back,” Eaton added. “With the help of the PAWC and people like Brogan, Kathy and Cindy to get me back to competitive form, I would not be heading to the 2022 International Armwrestling Championships in Dieppe, France at the end of September.”