Who is the strongest man at the fair?
Winner Mike Jensen, of Green, prepares to get the fifth and final keg over the 14-foot-high wall.
Zak Noviskey, of Andover, presses the 120-pound giant dumbbell.
Kyle Dean, of Green, completes a rep with the 120-pound giant dumbbell.
Jeremy Slate, of Hamburg, struggles under the weight of the giant dumbbell.
Hamburg's Jeremy Slate tosses a keg over a 14-foot-high wall.
AUGUSTA — For the third straight year, the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show has crowned the Strongest Man at the Fair.
This year, Mike Jensen, an aspiring bodybuilder from Green, raised his hand in victory at the end of his first-ever competition, which consisted of a 120-pound giant dumbbell press, keg toss and 450-pound dead lift competition.
The event — sponsored by Royal Buick GMC and hosted by Rob Agnoli, Newton strongman and owner of NJ Muscle gym — is held at the fair as an annual fundraiser for Sussex County Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Intervention Services (DASI).
As a close family member lost her life after an incident of domestic abuse, Agnoli feels especially close to the organization.
“I like to get involved with the charity and do as much as I can to raise awareness,” says Agnoli, who has “aligned [his] operation” with DASI. “And with my background in strongman, I felt that this would be a great event for the fair.”
As an organization that doesn’t hold many fundraisers, DASI welcomes the support from Agnoli. “He does all the work” said Linda Meek, financial director for DASI, “it’s really wonderful.”
Finishing in second was Casey Campbell, of Andover, who said he joined the competition for both Rob and for DASI. Rounding out the top three was Jeremy Slate, of Hamburg, who was promoting his personal-training business.
Other competitors included Kyle Dean, of Green; Aaron Williams, of Hackettstown; Dave Schneider, of Hamburg; and Zak Noviskey, of Andover.
Williams won the 120-pound giant dumbbell press event, with 10 reps in one minute. Mike Jensen, Kyle Dean and Jeremy Slate tied for second with seven reps. Jensen and Campbell were the only two competitors to get all five kegs over the 14-foot wall — Jensen in 15.5 seconds, Campbell in 18.3. Jeremy Slate won the dead lift event with 21 reps in one minute, while Jensen came in second with 18 reps and Campbell finished third with 15.
Jensen has already pledged to defend his title at next year’s event.
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