Some of the biggest international names in the Highland Games flocked to Lochearnhead and St. Andrews this weekend, where Sebastian and Lukas Wenta proved to have the winning hands.
2010 Lochearnhead Highland Games
by Francis Brebner
A heavy invasion of athletes in the Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Highland Games this past Saturday made several ground records tumble.
Although the weather was overcast with some passing showers and the ground was very soft, these conditions did not deter the twelve heavies who made up the field. The lineup included Scots athletes Lorne Colthart, Stuart Anderson, Craig Sinclair, and Stephen Aitken; Poland’s dynamic duo, brothers Sebastian and Lucas Wenta; and six of Holland’s finest throwers, who have been making a big impact on their first tour of the Scottish circuit. Most have come through the Dutch and Belgian Games circuit, with successful coaching from Wout Zijlstra and Tommy De Bruijn.
A total of four records bit the dust over the course of this British Championships, the first being the 16-lb. open shot, with L. Wenta obliterating the ground record of 26 years with a put of 58’. The record was previously held by the legendary Geoff Capes at a distance of 57’ 1-1/2”, set in 1984. In second place was brother S. Wenta with 55’ 4” and in third place was Holland’s Eddy Cardol with a very respectable 50’ 2”.
In the local division, the local record, set by one of Scotland’s legendary throwers, Ewen W. Cameron, in 1954, fell to local athlete Stuart Anderson with new distance of 45’ 6”.
In the 22-lb. shot, L. Wenta again went all out, cranking out another world-class put of 48’ 5” for the win. Brother S. Wenta again held second place with 46’ 10”, and Scotland’s Sinclair, showing great signs of improvement in his putting this season, landed in third place with 42’ 1”.
Moving on to the 16-lb. hammer, Sinclair, in his favored event, came into his own with a winning throw of 124’ 10”. In second place was S. Wenta with 121’ 4”, and in third, Aitken with 120’ 11”.
Again in the 22-lb. hammer Sinclair took the honors with a winning distance of 107’ 1”, with Aitken this time in second place with 101’ 7” and S. Wenta in third place with 99’ 7”.
In the 28-lb. weight for distance, S. Wenta narrowly took the victory from Sinclair with a distance of 82’; in second place was Sinclair with 81’ 10” and in third place, L. Wenta at 75’ 9”.
The 56-lb. weight for distance caused a bit of excitement as Sinclair lobbed the weight a whooping 49’ 7”, which was a new ground record, but later upon verification of the weight it was found out to be underweight. In second place was S. Wenta with a very large throw as well of 47’ 2”, and in third place, L. Wenta with 43’ 2”.
In the caber, S. Wenta made the winning toss of 12:01, followed by L. Wenta, who achieved 12:14, and S. Aitken with 85 degrees.
The final event with the 56-lb. weight over the bar was very thrilling for the spectators as the dynamic Wenta duo each broke the long-standing ground record of 16’ held by Matt Sandford of Australia since 1999. L. Wenta cleared 16’ 4” for the win with S. Wenta clearing 16’ 2” for second place and Sinclair clearing 15’ for third.
2010 St. Andrews Highland Games
by Francis Brebner
On the following day at the St. Andrews Highland Games, a larger turnout of heavy athletes was greeted by a nice sunny day with a cooling breeze, which make a very nice recipe for big throws and falling records.
This time a total of fourteen heavies came to do battle; these included big names like Scots Craig Sinclair and Bruce Robb, Australia’s Aaron Neighbour, England’s Scott Rider, Canada’s Jason Johnston, and Sean Longford, and Poland’s Sebastian Wenta and Lucas Wenta, with the rest of the field made up of Dutch, Belgian and Spanish athletes.
In the 16-lb. stone, it was an all-out dogfight between L. Wenta and Rider, with Wenta coming out on top with a winning put of 57’ 10”, which was also a new ground record. Just inches behind in second place was Rider with a distance of 57’; in third place was S. Wenta with 52’ 11”; and in fourth, Neighbour at 52’ 5”.
The 22-lb. shot once again proved a highlight as L. Wenta produced the second ground record of the day with the winning distance of 46’ 1”. In second place was Rider with a put of 45’4”, leaving S. Wenta and Neighbour in a duel for third, with Wenta just going ahead for third with 42’ 10”, and Neighbour coming in fourth place at 41’ 11”.
The 28-lb. weight for distance proved a real dingdong battle between S. Wenta, Rider and Sinclair, with first place finally going to Rider with his throw of 80’ 7”. In second place was S. Wenta at 80’ 6”, leaving Sinclair in third at 80’ 2”and L. Wenta in fourth with 78’ 0”.
With Sinclair’s slow start on this year’s Scottish circuit after suffering from a torn stomach muscle, it was good to see Scotland’s future of the sport take home the win in the 16-lb. hammer with a vast distance, way past his rivals, of 132’ 3”. L. Wenta, who is showing marked improvement from Games to Games, had a second place distance of 126’ 9”. In third place was brother S. Wenta with 126’ and in fourth place, Rider with a slightly below par throw of 125’ 8”.
The 22-lb. hammer was a breeze for Sinclair, who notched up another win at 104’ 0”, with L. Wenta in second place at 99’ 1” and S. Wenta in third place with 97’ 8”. Scotland’s Robb came in fourth place with 94’ 9”.
With only two more events the points were very tight between the top four. The caber, which was 18’ and 120-lb., was won by Rider with a 12 o’clock toss, with Robb, Johnston and L. Wenta tying for second equal with 12:05.
The final event with the 56-lb. weight over the bar was a tie between Neighbour, S. Wenta, and L. Wenta at 15”, with Sinclair, Johnston, Rider, and Robb all at 14’.
|2.||Scott Rider, Sebastian Wenta (tie)||21.5|