by Thom Van Vleck
The NAHA (North American Highlander Association) held it’s annual National Championships in Omaha, Nebraska on September 17, 2011. A full meet report can be found at www.nahighlander.com. The “Highlander” concept of strength competition combines Scottish Highland Games events with an equal number of Strongman events. This particular event had the Stone Put, Weight Over Bar, and Heavy Hammer for the Highland Games events and the 12″ Log Clean & Press, Farmers Walk, and a Giant Tire Flip/Keg Carry Medley for the strongman events.
It is interesting to note that the event was DOMINATED by current or past USAWA members! In the Lightweights we saw Tim Pinkerton make a comeback after a couple of years away from competition to squeak out a win. The next three classes were won by current USAWA members. In the Middleweights, Andrew Durniat won easily. The Heavyweights saw yours truly win with a tie breaker in a three way tie for 1st. Finally, John O’Brien won the masters easily after winning every single event, and was the only athlete to do that in the competition.
It’s no surprise to me that a competition that seeks to combine two sports would be dominated by athletes that excel in the the USAWA, an organization made up of 100’s of lifts. The athleticism needed to do well in so many lifts means the lifter is used to applying his strength in many different ways and not in just a few, select, and narrow ways.
So, to my fellow USAWA friends who competed with me Saturday, Good Job! And to my JWC brother John, way to go!