McPherson Highland Games: 15 Ground Records

Francis Brebner has filed a report on the McPherson Highland Games which produced a total of 15 ground records.

Charles Kasson, whom Francis Brebner calls “a rising star,” picks a target.  IronMind® | Francis Brebner photo
Charles Kasson, whom Francis Brebner calls “a rising star,” picks a target.  IronMind® | Francis Brebner photo

2013 McPherson Highland Games
by Francis Brebner
It was a smashing weekend at the McPherson Highland Games in McPherson, Kansas.  The leading Games on the Kansas circuit, it celebrated its 20th year of Scottish festivities with pipe bands, Highland dancing, clans and much more.  The highlight of the weekend was the heavy events, with a record number of athletes taking part in nine events over two days in one of the most heated competitions ever seen at McPherson, resulting in a total of 15 ground records and 2 world records.
On Saturday 37 athletes took to the field between the men’s amateur A & B groups, women’s masters, and woman’s amateur class.
In the men’s A group, rising star Charles Kasson dominated with a clean sweep, winning all the nine events and setting four ground records.  In the 22-lb. Braemar stone, Kasson set a new field record with a put of 40’ 4”, smashing the old record of 34’ 8” set by Nathan Burchett in 2011.  The second record to tumble was one set by Dan McKim in 2005, 51’ 7-1/2” in the 16-lb. open stone; on extra attempts, Kasson upped the mark to 51’ 11”.
In the 56-lb. weight-for-distance, Kasson kept his record-breaking streak going with a throw of 40’ 3”, overtaking the old record of 37’ 8-1/2” held by Scott Campbell since 2005.  The 28-lb. weight-for-distance was Kasson’s fourth and final record, a throw of 77’ 1” that toppled the record distance of 75’ 8” set by Sean Betz in 2001.  Kasson went on to win the 16-lb. hammer with 122’ 2”; 22-lb. hammer with 101’ 8”; 56-lb. weight-over-bar at 14’; 20-lb. sheaf toss at 28’; and the caber (18’ 5” long and 106 lb.) with a toss of 11:30.
In the women’s masters, 50-plus Terri Ventress was on top form, also having a clean sweep of all nine events and rewriting the history books with two world records in her age group.  The first was 15’ 9” in the 28-lb. weight-over-bar, where Terri broke her own world record 15’ 6” set earlier this year; and the second was in the heavy weight-for-distance with a superb throw of 41’ 9”, where Terri bested her previous record of 40’ 5” set earlier this year at the Masters’ World Championships.  Other wins included 14-lb. weight for distance 53’ 1/2”; 15-lb. Braemar stone 20’ 1”; 11-lb. open stone 31’ 5-1/2”; light hammer 84’ 9”; heavy hammer 63’ 9-1/2”; 10-lb. sheaf toss 21’; and 15’-6”, 54-lb. caber with an 80-degree effort.
In the light weight class (under 200 lb.), Jeremy Irvin set a new world record in the 16-lb. sheaf toss at a height of 27’ 1”.  Irvin went on to win a total of eight of the nine events, including  the 16-lb. open stone 36’ 5”; 22-lb. Braemar stone 28’ 4-1/2”; 28-lb. weight-for-distance 54’ 6-/12”; 22-lb. hammer 70’ 5-1/2”; 42-lb. weight-over-bar 14’, 16-lb. sheaf toss 25’; and the 15’-7”, 94-lb. caber toss, nailing a perfect 12:00.  Aaron Burnett won the 42-lb. weight-for-distance with a throw of 34’ 2-1/2”.
The athletic director for the McPherson Games, Dave Glasgow, could not have been happier how the weekend went, blessed with perfect weather, the record turnout of athletes, and the many field and world records broken, and as the saying goes, McPherson magic happens here.


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