Mike Pockoski won this weekend’s Richmond Highland Games, narrowly holding off Scotland’s Gregor Edmunds and Ohio’s Craig Smith to claim the victory by one-half point.
2010 Richmond Highland Games
by Francis Brebner
The Richmond Highland Games this past weekend had a great lineup of top American athletes competing with a little added international flavor coming from the presence of Scotland's Gregor Edmunds, the jester of the Highland Games circuit who has recently crowned himself the best Scottish Highland Games athlete that has ever been.
Even though several big name athletes such as Dan McKim, Larry Brock, Sean Betz and Harrison Bailey were not competing, the Richmond Highland games saw some great throwing from Mike Pockoski, David Barron, Mike Zolkiewicz, Mark Valenti, Craig Smith and the rookies Chris Chafin and Sam Grammar who are quickly making a big name for themselves in the sport.
The first opening event with the 16-lb. open stone got off to a great start with Edmunds winning marginally over Chris Chafin with a distance of 54' 7-½”. Chafin was in second place with 54' 1-½”, in third place was Mike Pockoski with 51' 10" and Craig Smith was in fourth place with 50 '4-½”.
In the 56-lb. weight for distance, Craig Smith destroyed the field with a ballistic winning distance of 44' 1"; in second place was Chris Chafin with 41' 1", in third place was Edmunds with 40' 1-½”, and Mike Pockoski was in fourth place with 39" 9-½”.
The following event, the 28-lb. weight for distance, again was won by Craig Smith, showing a great series of throws with a winning distance of 77’ 3". In a close second place was Pockoski with 76' 6-½”, in third place was Sam Grammar with 74' 5", and in fourth place was Mark Valenti with 73' 9".
Moving onto the 22-lb. hammer there was no doubt who was going to be the victor in this event with Pockoski, the current IHGF World Hammer Throwing Champion, lashing out a throw of 111' 2" for the win. In second place was Edmunds with a decent throw of 108' 8-½”. Dave Barron was hot on his heels with 107' 5-½” and in fourth place was Sam Grammar with 105' 2", which was very good considering this is only his first year as a pro.
In the caber event, both Grammar and Edmunds nailed 12 o'clock tosses which resulted in count back with the win going to Edmunds and Grammer taking second place. In third place was Smith with 11:55, and in fourth place was Chris Chaffin with 11:50.
Moving onto the 20-lb. sheaf over the bar most tied at a height of 27' with the win going to Mike Zolkiewicz. For second place there was a tie between Smith and Valenti, and Edmunds finished in fourth place.
In the final event of the competition, the 56-lb. weight over the bar, it was Pockoski with an excellent height of 17' that took the win, with Chafin and Edmunds both tying at 16'. Mike Zolkiewicz threw well under par, also hitting 16', for fourth place.