Sean Betz Wins Costa Mesa Highland Games

The action was hot and heavy at this weekend's Costa Mesa Highland Games, and ace MILO® Highland Games expert Francis Brebner filed this report for IronMind®.

Sean Betz and Larry Brock: Big Battle at the Costa Mesa Highland Games by Francis Brebner

Attendees of the Costa Mesa Highland Games witnessed some incredible throwing over the weekend as Sean Betz, the current world champion, and Larry Brock were caught battling it out, with Betz winning four of the eight events and Brock winning three.

In the open 17-lb. stone, Betz was the only athlete to throw over fifty feet, with a putt of 52' 3". In second place was Ryan Vierra with 48' 3", and third was Harrison Bailey III, with 46' 10".

In the 28-lb. weight for distance, Betz landed the winning throw of 85' 6"; in second place was Vierra, with 82' 10", and Brook was third, with 81' 10".

In the 16-lb. hammer, Betz showed that he was in perfect form and set himself apart in this event, being the only athlete to go over 140', with a distance of 144' 7". In second place, but well behind Betz, was Brock, with 135'. However in the 22-lb. hammer, it was Larry Brock who took the win with a worthy throw of 115'; Betz was second, with 111', and Vierra was third, with 109'.

The weight over the bar was a great competition to watch, with both Betz and Brock battling it out and holding a tie at 18' with the win going to Brock on a count back. Harrison Bailey was third, with 17'.

Going into the second day's competition, Betz won the 22-lb. Braemar standing stone putt, with a distance of 42' 2", Vierra was second, with 38' 2", and Brock was third, with 36' 7".

Brock dominated the 56-lb. weight for distance; he hit every throw over 44' and made the winning throw of 44' 7". In second was Vierra, with 42' 1", and third was Betz, with 41' even.

The next event was the challenge caber, which was 19-ft. long and weighed 120 lb. The athletes who turned this caber qualified and moved on to the U.S. Championship Caber. It was Brock who dominated the challenge caber event and thrilled the crowd with three perfect 12 o'clock tosses. With all athletes tossing the challenge caber, they all now moved on to the U.S. Championship Caber, which was slightly bigger at 19' 4" and weighed 130 lb.—this was by no means an easy caber at all. It had not much of a taper, which made it more difficult to judge the timing of the toss. But it was Vierra with his last toss that sealed the deal and added yet another U.S. Caber Championship title to his list of records, with an 11:30 and a 12 o'clock toss to go ahead of Betz, who placed second, and Brock, who placed third.

In the final event, the sheaf toss, it was Harrison Bailey who thrilled the crowds, establishing a new field record with a toss of 33', smashing the old record by nearly 2'. The action didn't end there as Bailey asked for the bar to be raised to 36' and he attempted a new world record. Bailey just narrowly missed out on it, as the sheaf almost cleared the bar, sending the many thousands of spectators into a frenzy and ending the competition on a high note. Andrew Hobson was second and Larry Brock was third.

The final places were:

1. Sean Betz
2. Larry Brock
3. Ryan Vierra
4. Harrison Bailey III
5. Andrew Hobson

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