David Traylor Virginia State Strength and Power HoF inductee 2020

By Strength and Power Hall of Fame

David Traylor (Contributor). Dave Traylor began lifting in 1961 at the Richmond YMCA. Dave started competing in November 1963 at a meet in Lynchburg. Dave continued to compete until 1987. Dave began organizing and holding meets about 1970. Dave held the 1971 State Championships while serving as State AAU Weightlifting Chairman. Dave had taken on the task of Chairman from Bob Crist who had been elected National Chairman. Also, in 1971 Dave formed and coached the Northern Piedmont Weightlifting Club while living in Culpeper. Dave coached the team and provided training facilities and equipment. Later Dave moved to Richmond and continued to compete and coach lifters. Dave contributed countless hours promoting lifting in many capacities. Meet Director, coach, loader, official, organizer, promoter, conducting weight in and what I remember most set up and tear down. Dave spent many hours over many decades building platforms and hauling weights. When Dave was lifting he always stayed to assist with tear down and cleaning the facility.


I first met Dave in 1970. Now 50 years later Dave is still assisting with local meets in Texas where he has lived for the past 10 years. I never saw a more dedicated person regarding meet planning and execution. Dave’s support was critical for weightlifting and his dedication is very much appreciated by the lifters who saw him in action during his era. Here is the bio that Dave prepared.


In 1961 I began working out at the Downtown Richmond YMCA, along with one of my University of Richmond buddies, Barry Eaves. I did basic bodybuilding exercises.  One night in 1962 I saw Reg Roberts doing some split cleans on a splintery platform in the basement YMCA weight room and was fascinated with the idea of Olympic style lifting. I learned that a contest would be held that year through Reg or the newspaper and went to watch it in the fall of 1962 - the Capital District with lifters from North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, D.C and West Virginia. I did not see the earlier daytime lifting, but the night session increased my interest in the sport. John Callis was psyching up for a snatch as I walked in. He made it (255lbs) as I recall. I think he was still a 198er. Soon after that contest I began practicing the three Olympic lifts with coaching from Reg and Bill Kendrick. At the Capital District I also saw the following lifters, C.J. Ryan, Bob Crist, Glenn Crockett, Colon McMath, Gerald Tiedemann to name the ones I can recall.  There were many others that have faded from memory.J.C. Ryan invited me to train with him at his house in his basement gym. Sometimes Neil Thomas, a 123er would also be there. Neil was a very good lifter but would be finished by the time I was warmed up. He was the first guy I saw C&J double bodyweight. At 122lbs he did 244 lbs. J.C. Ryan was a 181er whose best lifts (in pounds) were 245-240-305. He did these lifts in 1961 before I met him but had a 8mm film of it. He was 35 at the time. He was a mentor and inspiration to me. He and his wonderful wife Helen had three daughters. From 1963-65 I trained twice a week at his house. My first contest was in November 1963 at the Lynchburg YMCA, the week before President Kennedy’s assassination. I did 195-185-235. I cleaned 250 but missed the jerk which would have earned 3rd place. Tony Zatterio pressed 295 that day for a Jr. World Record. He was a hairdresser by trade. We were in the 181lb class. My second contest was a month later in December 1963 in Newport News. As a 181 I earned my first trophy (3rd place) with 190-190-250, 7 out of 9 with only my opening press, but all snatches and C&J’s. Bill Kendrick, who was also coaching me before I met C.J. Ryan beat me with 210-185-240.In 1964 I met Barbie (Dave’s future wife Barbara Traylor) on a blind date. Our second date was to the 1964 State meet again in Lynchburg where I did 200-205-240 for another 3rd place in the 181’s. I made all snatches, two splitting, the last squatting, but only one press and one C&J. J.C. Ryan won with 230-200-270. Barbie accepted the trophy for me while I was showering.  I think I had found a keeper! I made gradual and slight improvement in 1965-66 while I taught school in Wakefield Va., training in the garage of Barbie’s grandmother. My first contest at 198 (weighing 186) I did 220-200-260 at the Richmond Capital District, all splitting. The summer of 1966 I was drafted, but joined the Air Force. Stationed at Loring AFB in Maine I somehow won the state meet in the 198, mainly because it was the least competitive class. I can’t remember the exact date, but I think about October, 1967.In 1968 I was transferred to Andrews AFB (MD) where I met Joe Sissler who was in the Navy but stationed at Andrews. We trained some together there and also at Tucker Road Rec Center (MD). Roger Poppen, a very good lifter and I think Steve Zeigman also trained there. I also trained at the University of Maryland with such lifters as Barry Whitcomb who was a world class presser, John Miller, the club president, Bob McDonald who I was told had split cleaned 400 weighing not much over 200. Some of the heavy lifting atmosphere rubbed off on me as my total improved to over 700. In August 1970 I was discharged from the USAF after my four years. Four days later Barbie and I were married and took teaching jobs in Culpeper (VA), she teaching 4th grade and I teaching 6th and 7th grade English and 8th grade Spanish. We held the Va. State meet November 1971 in Culpeper at the High School with a good turnout including several of my junior high boys.  One of them, 14 year old Franklin Jenkins was a natural, snatching 190 and C&J 260 weighing about 190. Bill Crump of Richmond Bon Air (Reg Robert’s club) beat me on C&J with a 290 for a 730 total. He did 240-200-290. I did 240-215-270. Three weeks later I totaled 740 at Fort Belvoir Va., my best ever total. In 1969 I had traveled to Long Island New York with Bob Crist, John Callis, Steve Isely and Charlie Smith to the Jr. Nationals (American Open) and junior Mr. America Contest. Steve, John and Charlie lifted. Charlie won the 132 pound class. I can’t remember how John Placed but I think Norm Rauch won the superheavyweights. Bob Crist had me on the Jr. Mr. A judging panel. Chris Dickerson edged out Ken Waller. In 1973 or 74 Bob Crist asked me to be state chairman while he served as national chairman. From 1974 to 79 I was not part of the Va. Weightlifting scene as I attended a Sabbath observing church. In the early 80’s I resumed my involvement with weightlifting as an occasional judge and helper. I also helped promote combo contests of C&J and deadlift, dumbbell press/jerk and deadlift along with my powerlifting buddies Hal Hedley, Larry Eggleston, Curtis and Barry Walker, Mike Craven and Bill Ragland who was a very strong guy. After an angioplasty in 1985 I tried a brief comeback with limited success and much lighter lifts. I did start running and to my surprise enjoyed it to the point of completing a half marathon and several three and six k’s and five milers. My back surgery ended my running and lifting competitively, but I devoted my strength to being more of a family man and moving weight machines for a living.


It has been a fun ride. I was fortunate to meet and be friends with many wonderful and interesting people along the way. My Dear Barbie shared most of the highlights. Our son Steven also lifted in several contests. I think it was to please me. Our daughter Alyssa showed promise but was a bit too early for the women’s WL program’s surge. She did several school sports along with band and clubs. I was really blessed with a wonderful family.


I would like to thank my friends Bob and Yolanda Crist who kept the sport moving for so many decades.


Author: By Strength and Power Hall of Fame | Created: Sun Sep 27 19:42:18 UTC 2020 | Last Updated: Mon Mar 22 13:32:23 UTC 2021