Larry Brock Wins the Costa Mesa Highland Games

Fresh from his victory at the IHGF World Heavy Events Championships, Larry Brock added another West Coat win to his 2010 list as he picked up the title at the Costa Mesa Highland Games over the weekend.

Francis Brebner filed this report with IronMind®.

2010 Costa Mesa Highland Games

by Francis Brebner
The Costa Mesa Highland Games in Southern California this past weekend drew more than 30,000 spectators for its two-day Scottish festival of events.  Dave Garman, who is president of the Scottish American Athletic Association (SAAA), which organizes heavy athletics throughout California and other states in the U.S., said he was very happy with the event on the whole and the record number of athlete entries in the Games, which tallied 93 in total.
The weather was bright and sunny and just perfect for the big numbers that were thrown by all athletic groups.
Seven top athletes made up the field in the professional division; they included Andrew Hobson, Mike Pockoski, Sean Betz, Ryan Vierra, Rusty Price, Dan McKim, and Larry Brock, fresh from his victory in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada last weekend where he won the 2010 IHGF World Championships.
The competition got underway with the 23-lb. Braemar stone; this proved to be a very close competition, with the win going to Price with a distance of 38’ 10”.  In second place was Betz with 38’ 3-1/2”, and in third Brock with 37’ 10-1/2”.
The following event, the 56-lb. weight for distance, saw the world’s number-one ranked distance thrower Brock claim the win with a dominating 45’ 5”.  In second place was Pockoski at 42’ 8” and in third Betz with 42’ 3-1/2”.
The next event was the 16-lb. hammer, which was very tight between Pockoski, Brock, and Betz.  Pockoski came out on top with a throw of 133’ 4”, with Brock in second place at 133’ 1” and Betz in third place at 132’ 8”.
In the 22-lb. hammer, Pockoski tore ahead of his fellow athletes with a big throw of 116’.   Landing in second place was Betz with 112’ 10” and in third, Brock with 110’.
The caber was 18’ 10” in length and 107 lb. and carried the title of California State champion, plus a large cash sum.  It pulled the best out of both Brock and McKim, who both made 12:00 tosses, with Brock just narrowly snatching the win on countback with a better third place toss of 11:30 over McKim’s 1:30.  McKim took second and Betz came in third with one 12:00 toss.
The final event of the first day was the 56-lb. weight over the bar.  Nearly all athletes used the spinning technique, with only McKim and Price using the traditional standing style of throwing.
Brock and Betz tied at 18’, with Brock winning on countback.  McKim cleared 16’ for third place.
Day two of the Costa Mesa Games began with the 21-caber salute to our war veterans, which consisted of 21 athletes all tossing cabers at the same time—a rare sight indeed and it went down very well with the thousands of spectators.
The competition then resumed with the 16-lb. open stone, won by Rusty Price at a distance of 53’.  McKim was in second place with 51’ 5-1/2”, and Betz was in third place with 51’ 3-1/2”.
In the 28-lb. weight for distance, Larry Brock unleashed three world-class throws over 85’, with his best being 88’ 6” for the win.  Betz came in second place with 85’ 9-1/2” and McKim third with 83’ 9”, a personal best for him.
The 20-lb. sheaf toss was a tie between Brock and McKim at 30’, and it was won by Brock on countback, leaving McKim in second.
The final event was the challenge caber, which was 17’ 2” in length and 167 lb.—and this proved a real challenge indeed, with only athletes McKim and Brock able to toss this beast of a stick.  McKim produced a triumphant winning toss of 12:00 and an 11.15, while Brock took in second place with 11:00 and 2:45.
Overall placings:

1.  Larry Brock
2.  Sean Betz
3.  Dan McKim
Special mention in the women’s class goes to Michelle Green and Heather MacDonald, who have attended the IHGF clinics these past few months and set personal bests in the hammer, weight for distance, and open stone.
In the amateur A group, it was a close tussle between Jon O’Neil and winner Ken Lowther, with O’Neil producing some very fine throws in the 23-lb. Braemar stone and setting a personal best in the 28-lb. weight for distance.
And look out for a young rising star in the sport by the name of Karl Gehrke, in whom I see a lot of potential and who has a future in the sport if he keeps at it.
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