Staff Sgt. Charlie Lindsey, an Army recruiter assigned to the 2nd Brigade Columbia Recruiting Company, lifts and carries a metal cutout of the state of South Carolina filled with 150 pounds of metal ball bearings during the stone carry event of the 2022 Strongman/Strongwoman Competition May 19, 2022. The competition returned after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 risk mitigation shutdowns. The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosted the event at the softball complex (Photo Credit: Alexandra Shea)

Strongman/Strongwoman Competition returns to Fort Jackson

By Alexandra Shea, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

The Strongman/Strongwoman Competition hosted by Fort Jackson’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation returns after a two-year hiatus due to coronavirus mitigation measures.

“This is the first time we have done it in two years,” said Cindi Keene, DFMWR sports director. “It feels good bringing it back. It took lots of help and people to come out and share a good time and participate to coordinate an event like this.”

Volunteers from the installation’s Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers and Victory Chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club assisted Keene with setting up and running the May 19 competition for 25 competitors.

The competitors arrived at the softball complex to test their strength across four events. Family members, friends and command leaders crowded near the stations as the competitors raced against the clock in the stone carry, fireman’s carry, tire flip and truck pull events.

For the Chacon Family, the competition is a family affair. The couple often works out and encourages their son to be active as well.

“I’m competing in the lightweight division,” said Regina Chacon. “My husband is also competing in the heavyweight division and my son Caleb is here as well. We do everything together and it’s nice they give us events like this to do as a family.”


The Chacons’ weren’t the only competitors to have a cheering section of their own. Staff Sgt. Kevin Martinez, a drill sergeant assigned to 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, was motivated by his daughter as she shouted, “go daddy, go,” as he carried a metal cutout in the shape of the state of South Carolina filled with 200 pounds of metal ball bearings.

The competition was open to all Department of Defense ID card holders 18 years of age and older. Some of the competitor’s faces were familiar to others while many competed for the first time. The youngest competitor of the day used the competition as a launching for his future sports career in strongman competing.

“This is my first competition,” said Yaniel Taala, a 19 year-old military Family member. “I was going to use this competition to jumpstart my future strongman competition stuff. I wanted to get a feel for this and see what my strengths and weaknesses are. There was some stuff I could improve on but this is my first day here.”


Taala, whose parents met and married while stationed at Fort Jackson, plans on training and competing in future World’s Strongest Man, the Arnold Show, Titans and the World Finals competitions.

The competition wrapped up with the presentation of awards to each weight class and overall winners.

  • Regina Chacon-Lightweight
  • Robert Rankin-Lightweight
  • Daylen Prieto-Middleweight
  • Wes Mayuex-Middleweight
  • Bianca Abney-Heavyweight
  • Kyle Clark-Heavyweight
  • Yaniel Taala-Super Heavyweight

Abney and Clark took the top top title of overall winners.

“Thank you all for coming out,” Keene said. “Please grab some drinks on your way out and see you next year.”