Matt Vincent, Kristina Price Sissick Win at the Amateur Highland Games World Championships

Drawing competitors from around the globe, the IHGF Amateur Highland Games World Championships produced some big results and a preview of who might become the dominant professionals with a little more development.

2011 IHGF Amateur World Highland Games Championships
By Francis Brebner
It was a heavy weekend of throwing in Spokane, Washington USA as the best amateur athletes from around the world were invited to compete in the 2011 IHGF Amateur World Highland Games Championships.  Twelve athletes from eight countries in the men’s division ensured that the best national champions from each country were present.
All athletes fought a brave battle for the amateur championships title but in the end, it was a clear victory for America’s Matt Vincent, who was in top form, winning a total of 5 of 8 events.
In the woman’s division, Kristina Price Sissick prevailed with consistent placings throughout the day.
The Games began with a splendid parade and the official ceremonies were opened by the chieftain Peter Guthrie.  The athletes could not wait to go at it.
In the 23-lb. Braemar stone, all eyes were on America’s big Jon O’Neil, who had competed in two Olympic Trials in the shot.  He had the edge over the rest of the pack and won with a put of 42’ 1-1/2”.
In the 16-lb. open stone, Vincent led the event and after looking in the zone, he let fly with a massive opener of 53’ 1-1/4,” taking the win over O’Neil’s 50’ 9”.
Vincent let rip with another dominating performance in the 56-lb. weight-for-distance with 42’ 6-1/2”, and after studying his series of throw, I thought he looked as if he had a lot more left in the tank.
The 28-lb. weight-for-distance was one of the most spectacular events I have ever watched in an amateur competition, with Vincent making three throws over 80’, with his best an incredible 85’ 7”.
In the 22-lb. hammer, the much talked about American Nathan Burchett, who is the current amateur world hammer record holder, did not disappoint as he come across with a series of three fantastic throws, his best being 112’ 8-1/4” for the victory.  Expectations were high again for Burchett in the 16-lb. hammer but the tables turned as Vincent took his fourth win with a throw of 130’ 9” to Burchett’s 128’ 4”.
The caber, which had very little taper and was 20’ 4” in length and 120 lb., was turned by only three athletes.  Burchett was the worthy winner with a toss of 11:45 and two 85-degree attempts.
With an effortless throw of 16’, Vincent was the clear winner in the 56-lb. weight-over-bar, but there was a fight for second place between O’Neil, Burchett and Spencer Taylor, who prevailed at 15’. 
Overall points:

1. Matt Vincent (USA) 12.0
2. Nathan Burchett (USA) 27.5
3. Jon O’Neil (USA) 29.0
4. Spencer Taylor (USA) 31.0
5. Josh Goldthorp (CAN) 50.5
6. Duncan McCallum (USA) 53.0
7. David Frey (GER) 55.0
8. Pieter Karst Bouma (HOL)  56.0
9. Martin Schiller (AUT) 62.0
10. Jimmy Van De Walle (BEL) 64.0
11. Kengo Kubota (JPN) 89.0
12. Amine Amroun (FRA) 101

These men undoubtedly are the superstars of the future and within the next few years, we will see many in the professional world championships lineup.  Vincent, who has now earned pro status, will be granted a spot in next month’s IHGF Pro World Highland Games Championships at Loon Mountain, New Hampshire:  “When I get back home, it’s right back into training for the pro world championships.”
In the woman’s IHGF World Amateur Championships, these tartan-clad women are amongst the strongest you will find in any sport.  Six athletes made up the field, including Kristina Price Sissick, Ingrid Marcum, Heather MacDonald, Melissa Genisauski, Kristy Scott, and Brittney Boswell.
The 15-lb. Braemar stone was a very tight event with the win going to Scott with a putt of 28’ 3-1/4”, whereas the 8-lb. open stone was a clear win for Sissick at 42’ 3”.  In the light weight-for-distance, with only inches between the top three, first place went to Genisauski at 68’ 8”.
Marcum produced a great series of throws to win the heavy weight-for-distance at 38’ 7-1/2”.
The light hammer was won with a magnificent throw of 89’ 9-1/2” by Scott.  Scott, practically a newcomer to this sport, nailed her third victory in the heavy hammer at 80’ 3/4”.
The very long and heavy caber allowed only one athlete to turn it:  Marcum slammed home a perfect 12:00 for the win.  The 28-lb. weight over bar was won as well by Marcum at 16’.
Overall points:

1. Kristina Price Sissick 18.0
2. Kristy Scott  23.0
3. Melissa Genisauski 24.0
4. Ingrid Marcum  27.0
5. Heather MacDonald  35.0
6. Brittney Boswell 40.0

The IHGF would like to thank Jon and Jess MacKenzie, along with Beth Harper and the Games committee of Spokane, for their months of hard work on hosting the IHGF Amateur World Championships.

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