July 15, 2013. Did you miss the action of the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain? No worries, here is a review of the marathon that started in Boone and ended 26.2 miles later in Linville and the other athletic events that took place. Look out for some great photos by Skip Sickler.
Both the male and female top finishers in the 45th Annual Grandfather Mountain Marathon were first-time participants. Other podium finishers had experience in this famously difficult marathon. Runners began the race at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone N.C. and then ran 26.2 grueling miles to the finish line in MacRae Meadows at the base of Grandfather Mountain.
First-time participant Brian Deal was the Marathon winner with a time of 2:44.4. Deal, 28, lives in St. Louis, Mo. and went to school at Appalachian State University in Boone. The race was a good chance for him to have a reunion with many college friends and to visit the High Country.
“The scenery along the route was incredible,” said Deal. “If you are going to suffer through a tough run, this is the place to do it.
Second overall was Stephen Cowie, 36, from Greensboro, N.C. Cowie finished the race with a time of 2:52.26. This was Cowie’s sixth time competing in the Marathon and he has won it twice. Cowie, who runs this race with friends, has also competed in marathons in San Diego, Portland, Raleigh, Richmond and Washington D.C.
Third place went to Glen Mays from Lexington, K.Y. This was Mays’ fourth attempt at the Grandfather Mountain Marathon. He won the race in 2012. Mays, a 42-year-old professor, finished with a time of 2:54.45.
The men’s record time still stands at 2:34:51 set by Michael Harrison in 1994.
Yu Tsuchida, 39, won first place in the women’s division. Tsuchida is originally from Japan but works as a translator in Greensboro, N.C. She finished 20th overall with a time of 3:20:48.7.
“I had heard from past Marathon participants that it was really difficult,” said Tsuchida. “But I knew those same runners keep coming back so I had to check it out.”
The second woman to finish was Michelle McKenzie, 36, of Flowery Branch, G.A. This was McKenzie’s first attempt at the Marathon and she admitted that the second half of the course with its steady incline was very difficult. The dentist was inspired to run the race by a good friend who has run the past three years and lost 130 pounds. She finished 25th overall with a time of 3:25:45.2.
Finishing third was Kelcey Carlson, 38, from Raleigh, N.C. Carlson, an anchor at WRAL-TV is a fourth-time participant in this marathon. She finished 30th overall with a time of 3:29:03.7 and said that getting close to the finish line and hearing the bagpipes is the best part.
“This is the marathon that I love to hate the most,” said Carlson. “I’m miserable while doing it but in the end I realize that it’s the best one that I run.”
The female record for the Grandfather Mountain Marathon remains at 3:01:54 set by Patti Shephard in 1997.
A total of 385 runners from 32 states, including Hawaii, lined up for the 45th Annual Grandfather Mountain Marathon. The runners’ ages ranged from 17 to 76. The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games continue Sunday with a Scottish worship service, the Parade of Tartans and children’s competition in track and field.
Harlfinger and Smith Win Track and Field Athletes of Games
July 13, 2013. Matt Harlfinger captured the title of Male Track and Field Athlete of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games for the fourth year in a row, winning three of the nine competitions. The 28-year-old Atlanta native and track coach at Western Carolina University won the 100-yard race, 220-yard race and the triple jump.
The women’s overall champion was 22-year-old Mara Smith, a graduate of Western Carolina University. Smith was also the female top finisher in 2011. Smith won the 440-yard race, 880-yard race and mile race in the women’s division.
Track and Field Results
100 Yard Dash – Men
1. Matt Harlfinger, Cullowhee, N.C. 10.40 seconds
2. Gabriel Simerly, Johnson City, T.N. 10.41 seconds
100 Yard Dash – Women
1. Katherine Nihart, Banner Elk, N.C. 12.9 seconds
2. Shannon Smith, Linville, N.C. 13 seconds
220 Yard Dash – Men
1. Matt Harlfinger 24 seconds
2. Dustin Triplett, Boomer, N.C. 25 seconds
220 Yard Dash – Women
1. Shannon Smith 30.20 seconds
2. Katherine Nihart 30.25 seconds
440 Yard Dash – Men
1. Tyler Pennel, Blowing Rock, N.C. 1:00.2
2. Gabriel Simerly 1:00.9
440 Yard Dash – Women
1. Mara Smith, Maurertown, V.A. 1:09.00
2. Shannon Smith 1:09.56
880 Yard Dash – Men
1. Tyler Pennel 2 minutes and 23 seconds
2. Mike Lawson, Claremont, N.C. 2 minutes and 41 seconds
880 Yard Dash – Women
1. Mara Smith 3 minutes and 3.0 seconds
2. Tapioca Provost, Sylva, N.C. 3 minutes and 3.9 seconds
Mile Run – Men
1. Tyler Pennel 4 minutes and 57 seconds
2. Mike Lawson 5 minutes and 39 seconds
Mile Run – Women
1. Mara Smith 6 minutes and 2 seconds
2. Katherine Nihart 6 minutes and 3 seconds
2 Mile Run – Men
1. Tyler Pennel 11 minutes and 48.3 seconds
2. Mike Lawson 12 minutes and 43 seconds
2 Mile Run – Women
1. Tapioca Provost 15 minutes and 33 seconds
2. Mara Smith 15 minutes and 34 seconds
Long Jump – Men
1. Christian Carswell, Morganton, N.C. 20’ 2″
2. Matt Harlfinger 18′ 10”
Long Jump – Women
1. Shannon Smith 12′ 5 3/4″
2. Shelley Kerr, LaFayette, G.A. 11′ 6″
High Jump – Men
1. Christian Carswell 6’ 2”
2. Matt Harlfinger 5′ 10″
High Jump – Women
1. Shelley Kerr 4′ 6″
2. Lacey Triplett, Boone, N.C. 4′ 4″
Triple Jump- Men
1. Matt Harlfinger 37′ 8.5″
2. Dustin Triplett 36′ 1/2″
Triple Jump – Women
1. Debra Domermuth 27′ 10 1/4″
2. Shannon Smith 27′ 9 3/8″
Pole Vault – Men
1. Dustin Triplett 14′ 0″
2. Devon Wade, Johnson City, T.N. 13′ 6″
Pole Vault – Women and Men Masters
1. Debra Domermuth 11′
2. Alan Cox, Johnson City, T.N. 10′
Eric Frasure Earns First Place in Heavyweight Athletics
July 13, 2013. Fan favorite Eric Frasure, 28, of Charlotte, N.C. took home the first place title in heavyweight athletics at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Saturday.
Frasure hasn’t missed a Grandfather Mountain Highland Games since he was 12 years old. He tried out for the amateur heavyweight competition at the age of 14, qualified at the age of 15 and turned pro in 2007.
In college, Frasure competed in traditional track and field events at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Since then he’s been working as a State Investigator for the police of North Carolina.
Frasure has been training at CrossFit Allegiance in Denver, N.C. to stay competition ready as he works full time and pursues a master’s degree.
Scottish Athletic Event Results
56-Pound Weight Throw-for distance
1. Kerry Overfelt, Loratto, K.Y. 42’ 1.5”
2. Eric Frasure, Charlotte, N.C. 40’ 1.5”
Clachneart (tossing a 16-pound stone)
1. Eric Frasure 48’ 5”
2. Wes Kiser, Whitsett, N.C. 43’ 1.5”
Sheaf (tossing a 20-pound sack of hay for height with a pitch fork)
1. Eric Frasure 30’
2. Gene Flynn, Kitty Hawk, N.C. 28’
Caber Toss (flipping a 20’, 120-pound telephone pole end over end)
1. Gene Flynn 12:00 (2 of 3 tries)
2. Wes Kiser 12:00 (1 of 3 tries)
22-Pound Hammer Throw
1. Kerry Overfelt 103’ 8”
2. Michael Pockoski 102’ 8”
28-Pound Weight Throw-for distance
1. Kerry Overfelt 77’ 4”
2. Eric Frasure 77′ 0”
Overall Winner: Eric Frasure