Casey Garrison Wins IHGF Stones in Norway

Casey Garrison (USA) on the stone press at the IHGF Stones of Strength competition in Vinstra, Norway. IronMind® | Photo by Peter Pal Buajk

The 2015 International Highland Games Federation (IHGF) Stones of Strength series kicked off in Vinstra, Norway, and IHGF president Francis Brebner filed this report with IronMind.

2015 IHGF Stone of Strength World Series: Garrison Takes Leg One
by Francis Brebner
President, International Federation of Highland Games (IHGF)

The first leg of the 2015 IHGF Stones of Strength World Series took place in Vinstra, Norway this past weekend, held on the grounds of the magnificent Fefor Høifjellshotell and overlooking Loch Fefor. Nine strength athletes met in five stone-lifting events, including Jonathan Kelly, Ireland; Chris Burke and Casey Garrison, both USA; Paul Boundy and Austin Sztajdocher, both Canada; George Ogmundsson, Iceland; Tibor Kiss, Hungary; Andreas Lundberg, Sweden; and Rafal Kobylarz, Poland.

The first event, the 88-lb stone throw, was done freestyle with both hands from behind a trig with an approach of 3 m. Garrison owned this event from the first round, with a best of 17’. In a tight contest for second, Kelly prevailed at 16’ 2” over Kobylarz at 15’ 9”.

In the duck walk, athletes carried the first stone, weighing 160 kg, by a handle a distance of 30 m then a heavier stone weighing 250 kg back to the start, with 75 sec. to complete the course.  This grueling event left the athletes exhausted in the short time. Garrison took off like a sprinter with the first stone and gave his all with the second—and was the only athlete to finish the course; his time was 62.02 sec. Second was Kelly, who went 12.50 m with the heavier stone, and third, Ogmundsson, who did 11 m, also with the heavier stone. 

In the 220-lb. stone press, athletes had 75 sec. to complete as many reps as possible from the ground to overhead. Kelly managed a total of 8 reps for the win; second place was three-way tie between Ogmundsson, Sztajdocher, and Kiss with 7 reps; in fifth place was Garrison with 6 reps.

Garrison now had a 1 point lead over Kelly going into the Husafell stone carry, a massive 400-lb carried for distance. Garrison made it look like a walk in the park, triumphing with 369’.  Second was Ogmundsson at 278’ 8” and third Burke at 277’ 2”.

In the final event, five Atlas Stones ranged from 264, 308, 352, and 396 to 440 lb., with 75 sec. for the task. Garrison extended his lead to 6 points over Kelly as he loaded all five stones in 66.19 sec. in a crushing victory. Second was Kiss, lifting 4 stones in 23.11 sec. and third was Burke, also doing 4 stones, in 26.95 sec.

Final points
1. Casey Garrison (USA)        41

2. Jonathan Kelly (Ireland)     35

3. George Ogmundsson (Iceland)       35

4. Tibor Kiss (Hungary)          27
5. Chris Burke (USA) 26    

6. Austin Sztajdocher (Canada)          18

7. Paul Boundy (Canada)       17

8. Andreas Lundberg (Sweden)         13

9. Rafal Kobylarz (Poland)     11
The second leg in the IHGF Stones of Strength World Series will take place in the town of Celldomolk, Hungary on Sunday, 28 June. Prior to that, on 26–27 June, the IHGF World Strength Games Championships will be staged in the town of Velence, Hungary.


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