With the run up to the Pleasanton [California] Games gathering steam, the top Highland Games pros are flexing their muscles.
Portland, traditionally a very strong Games, produced impressive results, and this weekend, Detroit, was no slouch either. Three-time Highland Games World Champion Ryan Vierra won both contests, and in Portland he set new field records in the Portland Stone, the heavy weight for distance and the heavy hammer, suggesting that he's on the prowl.
What the big guns are aimed at now is Pleasanton, for the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Invitational Heavy Events Championships, which is part of the Caledeonian Club of San Francisco's 139th Scottish Highland Gathering and Games, a Labor Day weekend extravaganza. This is the big dog, and besides Ryan Vierra, plan on seeing Dave and Will Barron, Mike Smith, Sean Betz, Kerry Overfelt, Ken Lowther, Larry Brock, Jeremiah Strand, James Parman, Dave Brown and Greg Hadley. Athletic Chairman Steve Conway said, "All the Scots are going to the Braemar Games this year, Doug MacDonald is going to Calgary and Matt Sandford is taking the year off, but it should be quite a battle with Ryan trying to hold a gang of talented throwers. I would argue that they represent 12 of the top 15 pros presently competing in the world."