The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games always draw big crowds and top competitors for the heavy events—this year was no exception and reigning IHGF world champion Larry Brock chalked up another victory.
2010 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
by Francis Brebner
The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, held in the majestic setting of the MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain near Linville, North Carolina, attracted more than 15,000 spectators, who came from near and far to join in its 55th year celebration of the Games. Known for its picturesque setting and for being one of the biggest clan gatherings in the U.S., if not the world, Grandfather Mountain attracts big-name athletes, like the current world champion Larry Brock, who shared the top billing this year with Mike Pockoski, Eric Frasure, Gene Flynn, Chris Chafin, and Mike Nease.
The competition got off to a strong start with some big puts in the 20-lb. open stone, with Pockoski nailing a huge winning throw of 49’ 8-1/2”. Hot on his heels was Brock, who has shown great improvement in his putting this season, with a throw of 49’ 7” for second place, with Eric Frasure in third place at 44’ 2”.
In the 56-lb. weight for distance, Brock, the world’s number-one ranked distance thrower, kept up his superior run of winning performances with a throw of 45’ 10”, a new field record. Frasure overtook Pockoski by the tiniest of margins for second place with a throw of 41’ 11”, leaving Pockoski in third place at 41’ 10”.
The following event, the 28-lb. weight for distance, was again dominated by Brock with another solid throw for a distance of 83’ 1-1/2”, with Frasure in a strong second place with 80’ 5”, and Pockoski trailing in third place with 70’ 9”.
In the 22-lb. hammer, though, it was the 2009 and still current IHGF hammer world champion, Pockoski, who took the win—but not after a tough fight with Brock. Pockoski marginally triumphed with a distance of 110’ 11”, leaving Brock in second at 110’ 4”; Frasure was in third at 109’ 3”.
The 19-ft. and 104-lb. caber ended in a tie between Brock and Flynn, both making 12 o’clock tosses; Pockoski came in third place.
Moving on to the 20-lb. sheaf toss, Frasure caused quite a stir by pulling out a new world-record throw of 36’ 2”. In second place was Flynn with 31’; and in third, Brock and Pockoski and Nease stacked up at 27’ for a three-way tie. The sheaf officially weighed in at 20.4 lb.
The final event of the competition was the 56-lb. weight over the bar, and it was another field record set by Brock at a height of 17’ 8”. Pockoski wound up in second place at 17’, with Frasure in third place at 16’.