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Grande Prairie Highland Games Results for June 8, 2008

The Scoop!

Holy smokes, what a gong show! Right from go everything was nutty. Bobby, Joe, Paul and I drove up together and between Bob and Joe and their "European" accents and the occassional flying empty aimed at someone's head, the mood of the entire weekend was set from about 1 on Saturday on. I mean Bobby even stopped Joe from grabbing more food with rather acidic comment about Joe’s hugeosity. That was the kind of guy Bob Brown was. It only got worse when we headed down to Mad Hatters to watch the UFC, grab some eats, sweet potato fries and beverages. Bobby was complaining about being kept up too late but at least he didn't get woken up by the sound of rocks being dropped into a tree shredder from Joe's nasal cavity.

I won't bore you with the further details but lets get into some throwing. Again, we have to thank the Grande Prairie highland games for having us out again and treating us so well. Without the support of the games and the crowd, we’re just goofy fat guys in skirts throwing scrap metal and rocks.

We ended up with Ams, Open and Masters and despite a couple of hiccups, a show was put on. Mike Staal, in his infinite cruelty, decided to start us off with the braemar stone. That, in and of itself isn't such a big deal. A 71.8# stone, however, leaves much to be desired. Joey T was the first guy over 12' with the monster but he wouldn't be the last. In the Ams, Wes's first shot at 12'3" would stand the late charge of Paul's 11'3" and Joe K's 11'6". The Master's put on a show with Mike and Bob both hitting 12'5" and Terry knocking off 11'1". Remember, this is literally from a stand. Matt started the party at 14'2" to pull ahead of Joe and Davey Laidlaw creeped ahead of Matt with 14'7". At this point, it was the Matt and Dave show with Matt finally ending up at 15'6" to Dave's 15'. Joey T was the only other guy over 13' at 13'2".

Keeping up the trend of heavy was the 56 (or 42!) next, but there must have been a heavy gravity field passing through because this little display from the Open class was sad beyond all belief. Fortunately we were the exception to this because Bobby nailed a 37'6" with the 42# on his first throw to take first in the masters. Mike was a bit off on that with 32'1" and Terry was second with 32'11". The open class, as I said, was no great shakes with Matt winning with 33', Dave managing only 30'10", my best fouling out and thus leaving me with a whopping 28'7" and Joe fighting back at 26'8". Oh! I should mention that Wes had himself a good day with the heavy weight, finally breaking that 25' barrier by a whopping inch. But an inch or a mile, it's still magic. Pauly nailed his 20 footer at 20'10". Joe got to learn the hard way, but still put in a solid effort with 12'9". Second games, though and that thing is a harsh mistress.

Now that we were all crancked up and maladjusted anyway, the heavy hammer seemed the most logical thing to throw. This one was all Davey as he launched out a monster 93'10" while still slowing down his last wind. But man he's looking pretty during his winds. Joe T also had a little pepper, knocking off 88'4" to edge Matty into third with 87'8". Mike found his magic on the third with 86' even. Bob was back over 70 with a decent early season 71'8" and Terry had a solid looking 66'7" for third in the elderly class. The Ams fought it a bit more with Wes grabbing first with 62'5" and the Brothers Kuefler knocking 53'10" and 45' in birth order.

Just before our break, we decided to get into the open stone as the crowd was starting to gather and Matty was itching to throw. Especially as GP had a lovely stone that was nice enough to weigh in at 17.15#. Most of us bummed out that loaf of bread looking thing, with Bob and Mike grinding each other for bad throws and neither of them burning down the house with it. In the end, Mike got the nod with 33'3" to Bob's 32'11". Definitely under par for both men. Wes got his legs a bit under him by the third throw and nailed an even 30', which he looked disgusted with. Paul put out a pretty decent one for his last as well, actually getting some lift and managing 27'6". Joe had it come off his hand but still put enough shoulder into it enough to grab a 24'7" on his second. When we teach him that he has legs, he'll be dangerous.

The open class was again no great shakes. Sorta. Let's just say there was a definite skill gap in the throws. Dave took second with 39'11" and I was back with a nape of the earth shot at 38'6". Joe still needs to learn some separation, so his best stayed with his first at 35'4". But now let's talk Matt Doherty shall we? Matt has stopped with his traditional "start with a braemar so I don't foul" and went right into the spin and a half. With his 48'1” opener, he blew everyone else out of the water but he had a magical number he was hunting for. The number 52’1”. He set himself beautifully and used every inch of trig and that thing snapped out like a rocket. When it finally hit we were left with a monster 52’2” throw! For those not paying attention, that just happens to be the 17# Canadian Open stone record. So here we are in GP, first game of the season in Alberta and Matty cranks out a Canadian record. Awesome.

We came back after some lies and lunch and went right into the light weight for distance. Again, not a fantastic display from the Open class but there were some stars in the overall field. Bobby B took top spot in the WFD again with a 56’1”. I’ve seen him nail that and more many times in practice but definitely a good trend for early season marks. Wes continued his WFD excellence by nailing another watershed at 50’5” for the PR. The rest of the open class kind of bummed the place up but Matt finally remembered how to throw by #3, winning the comp with 68’1”. His extras showed some old form though, leaving him with 71’4” by the end.

THe light hammer seemed to treat everyone a lot better than the weights were as the guys started doing things right again. When Mike stops releasing at his waist, he’s going to add a lot of distance to the 106’3” that got him the win in the Masters. Bob nailed another good early season mark of 92’6” and even Terry reached out a bit more to nail 86’3”. Wes took home another first and another PR with 83’7”, which I think is 3.5’ over his previous best. Paul was pushing PR territory with 69’1” and Joe took his time, getting some smooth winds and just shy of 60’ with 59’11”. The open class really opened it up with Dave flirting with his PR but falling just shy with 109’3”. Joey Taylor really extended on his second attempt, nailing a beautiful 112’9” for a new PR. Matt again got his mojo working for him, extending his 118’1” to a 120’10” by the time the smoke had cleared. All still in cleats. Nice.

The caber made us all look like chowderheads, though. I mean it’s a pretty solidly weighed thing at 110.3# but it was only 16’6” so we really made it look harder than it should have been. The only real things to note right down to the last round was Davey’s 3:00 turn and big Joe Kuefler’s “no guts no glory” grinding picks where he’d literally just claw the thing up like some giant prehistoric monster. Then mighty Mike Staal got his head in the game and got the extension with the hips and arms he was looking for to crush the thing over at 12:45. The crowd, which we had constantly disappointed up until then, went berserk and the Mike Staal of old was strutting across the field.

The caber pulls the crowd over and the weight for height keeps them. Starting in at 10’ big Joe got his PR when he remembered to extend his arm all the way. Pauly was back up over 11’ with a “greasy but good” style of maximum efficiency through absolute minimum requirements for height. 12’ was no problem for the masters and all of the open class. 13’ was more of the same. 14’, however, put a stop to everyone but Matt, Bob and Mike. I will note, however, that Dave gets a little closer all the time. Breaks your heart when it sits on top like that, don’t it, Dave? 15’ was up next and the crowd was getting thick by this point. Matt and Mike made it look like buttah and Bobby settled up a bit of timing and grazed the bottom of the bar. 15’ can happen for the Crazy Horse this year with a bit of tweaks. Not wanting to screw around, the two guys left went right up to 16’ and then they both one-shotted it over to the roar of the crowd. 16’6” would have meant a couple things for both Mike and Matt: PRs and Alberta records. On his second one, Matt dug a bit deeper and slid it over the bar. Again, greasy but good. Mike struggled slightly and his 3rd shot had the height but it was straight up and a no-go for the pass.

The crowd was big, the crowd was loud and Matty was feeling his oats so we grabbed a ladder from Wes’s truck and up we went to 16’9”. Huge PR territory and the best height in Canada to date this year. So what does Matt do? He digs a bit deeper and the weight goes over without even touching the bar! More monster roars, back slapping and congrats. We have to repair the weight because Matt’s busted it (along with both hammers!) So we’re at field record, Alberta record and PR limits now. We mutter with Matt a bit more and he figures “Why not?” and decides to take some shots at 17’. After acquiescing to a request from some of the ladies in the crowd, Matt strips the shirt off and everyone is going nuts as he gears up. He reaches back enough that his chest is almost lower than his knee level, snaps it up and with the accompanying shouts from everyone in visual range, the weight shoots up and clears the bar clean! New PR, new field record, new provincial record and the best height from a Canadian this year. Another day in the life of Matty Doherty. Now just imagine what would happen if he actually TRAINED for this stuff instead of using competitions as practices.

The cheers were done, the cleanup started and the dust settled and our top dogs in the three classes were Matty, Mike and Wes. Mike and Bobby had battled all day for top spot in the Masters but Mike dunking the caber put it over the top for him. Meanwhile, Matt and Wes pretty much steamrolled their respective competition. Some good stuff, some bad stuff but overall a great day with great guys.

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2008 Video



Results

Masters Class
AthleteBraemar - 71.8#56# WFD22#
Hammer
Open
Stone
28# WFD16#
Hammer
16'6" 105#
Caber
56# WOBPoints
Mike Staal12'5"32'1"86'33'3"54'3"106'3"12:4516'11.5
Bob Brown12'5"37'6"71'8"32'11"56'1"92'6"NT14'14
Terry Hunt11'1"32'11"66'5"28'5"45'86'9"NT13'22.5
Open Class
AthleteBraemar - 71.8#56# WFD22#
Hammer
Open
Stone
28# WFD16#
Hammer
17' 105#
Caber
56# WOBPoints
Joe Taylor13'5"13'5"88'4"35'4"55'5"112'5"NT13'17.5
Dave Laidlaw15'30'1093'10"39'11"61'8"109'3"3:0013'12
Sean Langford12'8"28'7"78'6"38'6"58'2"103'NT13'26.5
Matt Doherty15'6"33'87'8"52'2"71'4"120'10"NT17'8
Amateur Class
AthleteBraemar - 71.8#56# WFD22#
Hammer
Open
Stone
28# WFD16#
Hammer
17' 105#
Caber
56# WOBPoints
Joe Kuefler11'6"12'9"45'24'7"31'9"59'11"NT10'20
Paul Kuefler11'3"20'10"53'10"27'6"40'4"69'1"NT11'14
Wes Radstaak12'3"25'1"62'5"30'50'5"83'7"NT10'10

Past Results: