Carl Vinson Finds Strongest Man and Woman

Story Number: NNS090211-11Release Date: 2/11/2009 2:40:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David Shen, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Sailors gathered Feb. 4, inside the ship's weightlifting room to compete for the title of the "Strongest Man and Woman," sponsored by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department.

Contestants performed a series of weightlifting exercises to test their maximum lifting capabilities in various categories. They each attempted the bench press, the squat, and the deadlift.

Storekeeper Seaman James Ball of Supply S-1 division dominated all categories. Ball achieved impressive scores of 325 pounds on the bench press, 775 pounds in the squat, and a colossal 625 pounds on the deadlift.

"Weightlifting is definitely one of my favorite hobbies. It keeps me in shape, and it's a great way to relieve stress," said Ball.

Erin Saluta, Carl Vinson fun boss, presented a total of four trophies to Ball; three of them for the different events, and one for claiming an overall victory.
Ball expressed his appreciation toward MWR for holding events like this, and how they help to elevate shipboard morale and keep Sailors motivated.

Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Chris Rodriguez from Weapons C-3 division earned an honorable mention, taking second place. Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class (AW/SW) Melissa Grogan of Legal department was crowned 'Strongest Woman.'

"I enjoyed this competition very much. I was hesitant at first, but then I decided to sign up. It turned out to be a very fun event," said Rodriguez.

Saluta reminds Sailors to utilize MWR and take full advantage of its benefits.

"We will continue to have events on board and to support Sailors," said Saluta, who coordinates annual, monthly, and even weekly events for the Carl Vinson crew.

For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit

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