Puller Profile: Sam Harris
June 23rd 2016
That’s what started 24-year-old 165-pounder Sam Harris on his road to potential WAL glory at the 2016 Championships this weekend in Las Vegas.
The construction worker out of New Paris, Pennsylvania was curious about the sport after beating everyone at his high school. He found a tournament being thrown in Erie by WAL head referee and pulling pillar Bart Wood.
“I went to the event and Bart pulled me aside and showed me how you do it,” Harris recalled. “And that was it.” He was hooked.A mentor passed on the lessons, and now the youngster is hoping to make a splash at the biggest event in arm-wrestling history.
That’s not just hype. Harris pinned reigning 165 champion Paul “The Assassin” Talbott at the Northern Regionals last month. Harris had some of the best matches of the day before finishing second on the right hand. Harris trained with Wood and the Erie crew before setting up his own training clique closer to home. Harris said the welcoming scene means anyone willing to put in the work can become a WAL athlete.
“How I got my knowledge was people being friendly and willing to share techniques, and how they train,” he said. “Everyone at the tournaments is so willing to teach you.” Harris just missed the WAL 2015 Championships, but admits now that he wasn’t ready that year.
He said he’ll be looking out for Talbott, still dominant and looking to avenge any loss, as well as the rest of the stacked 165 class. “I need to be smart now,” Harris said. “I’ve got to try and keep them out of their go-to moves. As long as my opponent is not comfortable and can’t get to his move, I can pull a hook or a top roll. I just want to keep them out of their power and not make any mistakes.”
He said he will count improvement this year as a win.
“If I place top six or seven, I’ll be happy with that,” Harris said. “I’m not expecting to raise the hammer or nothing, but brackets will make everything for me. I could easily have a good day there too.”