Brothers Brent and Brady Miller were planning to go fishing in Florida.
They ended up catching top finishing spots in the 61st annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, N.C.
The Brothers Millers competed in the professional Scottish heavy athletic competitions in the Games, with Brent, 45, finishing first overall and Brady, 47, third. Highland Games veteran Wes Kiser, 30, finished second overall.
“We do a lot of Olympic lifting and throwing as a bulk of our training,” Brent Miller said. “We threw in college, and I’d called a roommate to go fishing in Florida, who said, ‘I’ve been doing the Highland Games; you and Brady need to check it out.’ So, we did, and it went from there. So, a fishing trip is what got us started.”
And they’ve been reeling in the awards since. The Brothers Miller hail from Tennessee — Brent from Gordonsville and Brady from Lebanon — where they both teach middle school physical education.
“We train together, travel together and throw in a lot of games together,” Brady said. “It’s a family thing. I have two high-school-age boys, and we all throw and train together. They’re shot-put and discus throwers, so we are busy at our house.”
The Millers were happy to take that busyness to Grandfather Mountain.
“I’ve been to a lot of big games … and this is the most traditional games I’ve ever been to,” Brady said. “It’s more like the Scottish gatherings you read about in books or see on TV.”
Although Brent had been a spectator at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games before, this was his first year throwing.
“It was great,” said Brent, who’s been performing in heavy athletics for about seven years. “I had probably my best day throwing, overall. I like it (at Grandfather). It’s just beautiful country, the crowd is big, and it’s fun when people cheer for you.”
There was plenty of that with Brent’s perfect performance in the caber toss. In the caber toss, athletes must hold an upright telephone-pole-sized wooden post and run forward, pitching it end over end, so it lands in the 12:00 position as though on a clock. Brent was right on time at 12:00, with his brother coming in second at a close 12:15.
Brent also took first in the Clachneart (16-pound stone toss), 56-pound weight throw for distance, 28-pound weight throw for distance and 56-pound weight throw for height. Other competitions include the tossing of the sheaf (tossing a 20-pound sack of hay with a pitchfork for height) and the 22-pound hammer throw for a total of seven contests.
“This is probably my first game where I put all seven together, which is good,” Brent said. “It’s about time!”
SCOTTISH ATHLETIC EVENT RESULTS
56-Pound Weight Throw for Distance
- Brent Miller (Gordonsville, Tenn) – 41’ 8”
- Wes Kiser (Gibsonville, N.C.) – 40’ 7½”
28-Pound Weight Throw for Distance
- Brent Miller (Gordonsville, Tenn) – 80’ 9½”
- Wes Kiser (Gibsonville, N.C.) – 78’ 7”
Clachneart (16-Pound Stone Toss)
- Brent Miller (Gordonsville, Tenn.) – 48’ 5½”
- Wes Kiser (Gibsonville, N.C.) – 45’ 9”
22-Pound Hammer Throw
- Eric Frasure (Denver, N.C.) – 104’ 0”
- Brady Miller (Lebanon, Tenn.) – 100’ ½”
- Brent Miller (Gordonsville, Tenn) – 12:00
- Brady Miller (Lebanon, Tenn.) – 12:15
Tossing of the Sheaf
- Travis Gardner (Canton, N.C.) – 34’
- Brady Miller (Lebanon, Tenn.) – 30’
56-Pound Weight Throw for Height
- Brent Miller (Gordonsville, Tenn) – 17’ (second attempt)
- Eric Frasure (Denver, N.C.) – 17’ (third attempt)
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