Dan McKim Wins in Las Vegas

Dan McKim served early notice that he’s the man to beat on the 2011 Highland Games circuit and his edged former world champion Sean Betz for the victory in Las Vegas.

2011 Las Vegas Highland Games
by Francis Brebner
More than 15,000 spectators turned out for the weekend of festivities at the Las Vegas Highland Games, with sun shining and with a lineup of top pro athletes.  Some pretty big numbers were thrown for the start of the season, which gives us a clue to what’s coming later on this summer.
In the 22-lb. Braemar stone, Rusty Price dominated with a distance of 43’ 4-1/2”; in second place was Sean Betz at 41’ 1-1/2” and in third was Dan McKim at 39’ 1/4”.
Following in the 16-lb. open stone, Price showed great form with another victory with a class put of 55’ 9-3/4”; Betz again took second at 53’ 6-1/2” and McKim third at 49’ 11”.
In the 28-lb. weight for distance, Betz come out on top with a winning distance 80’ 9”, which was closely followed by Harrison Bailey with 78’ 9-1/4”; McKim took third place with 78’ 0”.
It was Bailey’s turn to take first in the 56-lb. weight for distance, heaving with a winning throw of 42’ 5”.  Betz was second at 39’ 10-1/2” and McKim third with 39’ 1/4”.  Dan Williams, who was throwing for a PR only, pulled out a huge distance of 45’ 3”.  Keep your eyes open for this young fellow in the near future; I am sure we will be hearing a lot more about him.
In the 22-lb. hammer, McKim let fly with a throw of 110’ 3-1/2” for the win.  In second came Betz at 106’ 5-1/2” and in third, Canadian Greg Hadley at 100’ 3”.
The 56-lb. weight over the bar was won at 17’ by Bailey using the spinning method; McKim took second at 16’ 0” standing; and Betz took third, also at 16’ 0” standing.
The final event with the caber, which was 19’ and 130-lb., was won by McKim with a 12:10 toss.  Mike Zolkiewicz followed with 2:45 and Hadley landed in third place with 80 degrees.
McKim edged out Betz for the overall win.  They both had 17 points, but McKim had more first place wins.
Final points:

1. McKim (won on countback)
2. Betz 17.0
3. Bailey 22.0
4. Price 31.0
5. Hadley 38.0
6. Zolkiewwicz 40.0
7. Johnston 47.0
8. Stewart 58.5
9. Odden 63.0
10. Steiger 72.

Steve Conway, president of the Scottish Heavy Athletics, which sanctions and organizes the heavy events for the Las Vegas Games, talked about about the athletes’ performances, saying that "everyone looked ready for a great 2011 season.  With McKim and Price tipping the scales at over 300-lb., they were throwing very well.   Price’s stones were as strong as ever, and Dan looked as if he could be on track for a repeat performance in the IHGF World Caber Championships later this year in Pleasanton."

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