Mel Ruth

Mel Ruth
J. Freeland Chryst Award

After Mel Ruth was discharged from military service, he began going to the Lancaster YMCA's powerlifting meets. He also started training for the Mr. Lancaster bodybuilding contest, which began that same year.

After three years of training, Ruth finally entered the bodybuilding contest in 1960 and won the title. He also won the Mr. Lancaster title in 1970 … remarkably 10 years later.

In between these titles, Ruth earned the Lancaster City-County Powerlifting Championship for the 165-pound class in 1961 and the state powerlifting championship in 1962. His best lifts in the powerlifting competitions were bench press at 350 pounds, squat at 400 pounds and dead lift at 400 pounds.

After his championships, Ruth was the meet director for both Mr. Lancaster and the powerlifting meets for 35 years. He served leader for the Lancaster-Lebanon League powerlifting competition. He also volunteered with the McCaskey football staff for 47 years, including 10 years as strength coach. He also has volunteered with the Penn Manor staff for three seasons.

In addition, Ruth served as treasurer of the Lancaster County Old Timers Athletic Association, which later became the Lancaster County Sports Hall of Fame.

Ruth was inducted into the McCaskey Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Susquehanna Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.