Spencer Tyler Breaks World Record at Costa Mesa Highland Games

Spencer Tyler broke his own world record on the sheaf at the Costa Mesa Highland Games, as part of a performance that included the overall win in the professional class. IronMind® | IHGF photo Spencer Tyler broke his own world record on the sheaf at the Costa Mesa Highland Games, as part of a performance that included the overall win in the professional class. IronMind® | IHGF photo

Lots of great throwing at the Costa Mesa Highland Games and pro-class star Spencer Tyler lit things up with a world record—IHGF president Francis Brebner called the action for IronMind.

2019 Costa Mesa Highland Games: Tyler Tosses World Record in Sheaf
by Francis Brebner
President, International Highland Games Federation (IHGF)

The 2019 Costa Mesa Highland games this past weekend in Southern California attracted nearly 30,000 spectators and more than 120 athletes over its two days of competition. As the sixth leg of the IHGF All-American Highland Games qualifying series for men’s and woman’s A groups, one spot was left to qualify for the finals of the IHGF All-American Highland Games Championships.
Men’s A Group
The men’s A group consisted of Mike Baltren, Sean Smith, Sean Burns, Kendall Thomas, John Anthony, Mike Tupper, Steve Ullom, Jackson Reeves, Patrick Colonnelli, and Mike Perkins.
In the 22-lb. Braemar stone, Burns took the first win with 39’ 5”, but was pushed all the way by Thomas, who was second at 38’ 10”, and Anthony, third at 37’ 10”.

Burns notched another victory in the 17-lb. open stone with a putt of 47’ 10-1/2”, with Reeves in a tight second place with 46’ 5-1/2” and Anthony in third at 45’ 1-1/2”.
Thomas let the 28-lb. weight for distance fly with a dominating throw of 75’ 4-1/2”, followed by second-place Baltren at 68’ 4” and Smith close behind in third at 67’ 10”.
In the 56-lb. weight for distance, Thomas pulled out his best at 40’ 8” for back-to-back wins. Anthony settled for second at 35’ 9” and Baltren took third with 32’ 2”.
The 16-lb. hammer was a sweet win for Smith, who did 111’ 2”; second was Thomas at 106’ 11” and third Burns at 105’ 8”.

Smith, Burns and Thomas contended for the 22-lb. hammer, with Burns marginally taking the win at 88’ 4” over Smith at 87’ 1” and Thomas just 1” behind at 87’ 0”.
A great moment for Burns came in the 56-lb. weight over bar as he cleared 16’ for the win. Baltren and Thomas tied at 14’, with Baltren besting Thomas on countback.

Only Burns was able to turn the 16’ 6” and 110 lb. caber, slamming home a 2:30 toss. Anthony was second place with 75 degrees and Smith third at 70.
Burns sealed the deal in the 20-lb. sheaf toss with a superb height of 31’, with Anthony and Thomas both at 26’. 

Overall points:
1. Sean Burns              23
2. Kendall Thomas       26
3. John Anthony          31.5
4. Sean Smith             41
5. Mike Baltren           48.5
6. Patrick Colonnelli    49
7. Jackson Reeves       56.5
8. Mike Perkins           62
9. Mike Tupper            75.5
10. Steve Ullom           82
Kendall Thomas will join Chad Thompson, Sean Burns, Eli Kiener, John Anthony and Skylar Arneson at the finals of the IHGF All American Highland Games Championships at the Great Plains Renaissance and Scottish Festival, in Wichita, Kansas, in September 2019.
Women’s A Group
In the woman’s A group, a strong field included Kristin Rhodes, Heather MacDonald, Felicia Baker Baltren, Christena Georgas Burns, Jarvina Routt , Kadie McNamara,  Sefra Wilson, and Tara Neal.
The 13-lb. Braemar stone was a tight competition, with the win going to McNamara at 30’ 2-1/2”, followed by Georgas at 30’ and Baker at 28’ 5-1/2”.
Georgas pulled off the win in the 9-lb. open stone at 34’ 9”, with Routt a close second at 34’ 5-1/2” and McNamara third at 34’ 2”.

In only her third games of the season after a ten-year absence, Rhodes led the way from the start in the 14-lb. weight for distance with a colossal series of throws over 70’ with her winning effort a personal best of 76’ 5”. MacDonald was second at 69’ 1” and Routt third at 66’.

Rhodes kept it up with a top-class performance in the 28-lb. weight for distance with a personal best of 46’ for the win. Second was Baker at 38’ 10” and third MacDonald at 37’ 2”.

In the hammers, Rhodes took back-to-back top honors, doing 98’ 5” in the 12-lb. hammer to Baker’s 89’ 1” and McNamara’s 86’ 4”. In the 16-lb. hammer, Rhodes prevailed in the end with a throw of 74’ 9”, inches ahead of Baker at 72’ 9”, and McNamara in third place at 69’ 3”.

The 28-lb. weight over bar was fantastic as Rhodes blasted the height of 17’ for the win, with Baker and MacDonald doing 15’.

Baker won the 10-lb. sheaf over bar on countback over Routt at 24’; third was Georgas at 22’. Rhodes won the 16’, 55-lb. caber toss, nailing 12:00. MacDonald was second with 80 degrees and Baker third at 75 degrees.
Overall places:
1. Kristin Rhodes
2. Felicia Baker Baltren
3. Heather MacDonald
4. Kadie McNamara
5. Jarvina Routt
6. Christina Georgas Burns
7. Sefra Wilson
8. Tara Neal
Rhodes will join Meagan McKee, Felicia Baker Baltren, Ashley Weber, Emalie Humphreys and Jamie Channel at the finals of the IHGF All American Highland Games Championships at the Great Plains Renaissance and Scottish Festival, in Wichita, Kansas, in September 2019.

Pro Class
The pro class featured six athletes, including Spencer Tyler, Andy Vincent, Dan Tennison, Jon O’Neil, Eddie Brown and Colin Dunbar, who was making his first appearance as a pro and put up a fantastic overall performance.

In the 22-lb. Braemar stone, Tyler unleashed monster throws with a best of 44’ 10-1/2” to dominate the win. Tennison followed with 42’ 9-3/4”, with Dunbar third at 41’ 3/4”.

After a three-way tussle in the 16-lb. open stone, Dunbar claimed the win with a throw of 55’ 7” over second-place Tyler at 55’ 5-3/4” and third-place Tennison at 55’ 1-3/4”.

Tyler, the world record holder in the 28-lb. weight for distance, did not disappoint the crowds as he let fly with throws all over 90’, doing a best on that day of 91’ 6-1/2”. Dunbar and Tennison trailed at 81’ 7-1/4” and 80’ 4” respectively.

In the 56-lb. weight for distance, Tyler showcased great foot work and form as he delivered another world class performance with a throw of 48’ 10-1/2”. Second was Dunbar with 41’ 9-1/4” and third Tennison at 39’ 10-1/2”.

Only three athletes cleared 16’ in the 56-lb. weight over the bar: Tyler, Dunbar and Tennison. Tyler and Dunbar succeeded at 17’ and 18’, but were stymied at 19’, with Tyler winning on countback at 18’.
The 20-lb. sheaf was a highlight as Tyler entertained the crowds with a world-record performance. At 30’ only Tyler and Tennison remained, and at 33’ Tyler prevailed, asking  for the bar to be raised 1” over his own world record of 36’ 7” to a height of 36’ 8”, which he cleared on his final attempt. Tyler then asked for the bar to be then raised to 37’, which he cleared, setting another world record. Second place Tennison at 30’ and in third Dunbar at 27’.
The 20’, 120-lb. caber toss was a close competition, with Tennison taking the win on countback on three 12 o’clock tosses, leaving O’Neil in second and Tyler in third.

Overall places:

1. Spencer Tyler 

2. Dan Tennison
3. Colin Dunbar
4. Andy Vincent
5. Jon O’Neil
6. Eddie Brown
The IHGF would like to thank the SAAA and athletic director West Imboden and all the judges and officials for putting together a great event that ran smoothly over the weekend. Special mention must be given to Canadian Alex Armour in the Adaptive class, who set a world record in the light open stone. At Costa Mesa, Alex competed in his final Highland games on American soil and will soon travel to Scotland and then on to Fefor, Norway, his final games of his athletic career. Alex has been a great role model for adaptive athletes and will continue in the sport, coaching and being involved in the games. The next in the IHGF All-American Highland Games qualifying series will be the Pikes Peak Celtic Festival in Colorado, 15–16 June.


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