Will Barron and Sean Betz Win Highland Games Team World Championships

Top performances accompanied what Francis Brebner called “five-star treatment” by Rod Hadley and the  Antigonish Highland Games Organizing Committee as they hosted the International Highland Games Federation (IHGF) Highland Games Team World Championships, where Will Barron and Sean Betz won top honors.

Lead sponsor Steve Smith (center) of Atlantic Windows presents the awards to the winning team of Will Barron (left) and Sean Betz (right).  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Francis Brebner.
Lead sponsor Steve Smith (center) of Atlantic Windows presents the awards to the winning team of Will Barron (left) and Sean Betz (right).  IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Francis Brebner.

2009 IHGF Highland Games World Team Championships – Day Two

By Francis Breber

The second day’s competition at the 2009 IHGF World Team Championships got off to a strong start for Canadian Matt Docherty, who won the 16-lb. open stone with a putt of 52’ 7”.  In second place was Sean Betz with 50’ 4-1/2” and in third, Mike Zolkiewicz with 50’.
In the next event, the 28-lb. weight for distance, yet another ground record bit the dust.  The large crowd of Highland Games fans cheered on Larry Brock as he blasted out a throw of 86’ 6”, which obliterated the old record of 86’.  In second place was Betz with 84’ 1-3/4” and in third was Will Barron with 81’ 11”.
 The final scoring event of the championships, the 16-lb. hammer, proved a real ding-dong battle between Betz, Brock, and Lyle Barron, with Barron coming out on top with the winning distance of 132’ 10-1/2”.  Betz took second place at 132’ 2-1/2” and Brock took third with 131’ 11”.
The challenge caber weighed 130 lb. and was 20’ 1” in length.  Zolkiewicz nailed the win with a toss of 12:30; Lyle Barron was in second with a 12:40 toss; and Brock was in third place with 1:00.

The overall results were as follows:

USA Team 2 – Larry Brock and Mike Zolkiewicz - 67 points
USA Team 1 – Sean Betz and Will Barron - 73
Canada Team 2 – Lyle Barron and Dirk Bishop - 77

Canada Team 1 – Greg Hadley and Matt Docherty - 92.5

Europe Team – Craig Sinclair and Tommy DeBruijn - 125.5

Asking Sean Betz if he was happy with his throwing and what he thought about the whole championships, Betz replied, “I was very happy with my throwing and am feeling good as we move on to next week’s World Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland.”

“As for the IHGF World Team Championships, all I can say is it has to be one of the greatest competitions I have ever competed in.  Rod Hadley and the Antigonish Highland Games Committee have done fantastic work hosting these championships and have done nothing but give all us athletes the five-star treatment from the time we arrived until the finish of the Games.  It was just truly fantastic,” with Craig Sinclair of Scotland adding, “I second that.”

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