Highland Games athletics offers on-the-fly competition

Last updated on July 13, 2022 4:13 PM

LINVILLE, NC — Moses White of Deep Gap, NC needed no shoes to finish first in the 880-yard dash during the 66e The annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games were held at MacRae Meadows this past weekend.

The local runner was attending games with his brother and decided to enter the weekend athletics competition on Saturday July 9 on the spur of the moment. When he realized he didn’t have proper running shoes with him, he opted to run the race barefoot, a decision that turned out to be the right one.

“I didn’t expect to come here and race today,” White said. “I was wearing Chacos (sandals) so I thought barefoot would be a bit better.”

For White, who was attending the games for the first time since the age of 5, the open competition at the Highland Games was the perfect opportunity to get in on the weekend action and engage in some friendly competition with his brother.

For Appalachian State University track and field athlete Patrick Freeman, the event offered him the opportunity to hone his craft during the offseason while competing in a track and field competition unlike many others.

“The Highland Games are great fun,” Freeman said. “This is probably the most fun follow-up I’ve ever done.”

Freeman won first place in several events, including the men’s long jump, 220-yard sprint, 440-yard sprint and 100-yard sprint. His athleticism also earned him the distinction of Most Outstanding Male Athlete of the event.

Meanwhile, a trio of female athletes from Salisbury, North Carolina took part in Saturday’s competition to help prepare them to win their own sports scholarships in the near future. Dashia Canada, Tai’lah Ware and Kimora Chaulk each finished first in at least one of the competition’s events. Canada also won the award for Most Outstanding Female Athlete.

Tim Propst, who has coached the ladies since college, said he saw the benefits of competition from his own experience competing in heavyweight athletics at the games years ago.

“They’re currently taking the summer to rebuild after having a really phenomenal high school season,” Propst said. “It’s kind of a training competition for them. It’s a good way to get a good idea of ​​where they are.

For the trio, the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games is just one step on their way to competing at the next level, albeit an interesting and unique step along that journey.

“My goal is to get them all to enroll in colleges,” Propst said. “I expect to see them all at the state meeting next year, and I know where all the scouts are sitting. That’s the end goal, but today was all about coming here and having fun.

Athletics Results

Pole Vault – Men

  1. Taylor Fox, Boone, North Carolina, 14′
  2. Kaelum Armstrong, Easley, North Carolina, 11′
  3. Clay Wells, Erwin, TN, 10’6″

Pole Vault – Women

  1. Aliah Laster, Rogersville, TN, 8’6″
  2. Jane Gray Zechini, Raleigh, NC (tied for second)

Jorja Fox, Easley, SC (tied for second)

Ruth Matthews, Johnson City, Tennessee (tied for second)

Most Outstanding Female Athlete

  1. Dashia Canada, Salisbury, North Carolina

Most Outstanding Male Athlete

  1. Patrick Freeman, Boone, North Carolina

Triple jump

  1. Finn Poulin, Cary, NC, 32’6″
  2. Clay Wells, Erwin, Tennessee, 32’5″
  3. Michael McCann, Newark, Delaware, 27’6.5″

High Jump – Men

  1. Clay Wells, Erwin, Tennessee, 5′
  2. Patrick Freeman, Boone, NC, 4’10”

High jump – women

  1. Kimora Chaulk, Salisbury, NC, 4’5″
  2. Tai’lah Ware, Salisbury, NC, 4’5″
  3. Dashia Canada, Salisbury, NC, 4’1″

long jump Men’s

  1. Patrick Freeman, Boone, NC, 17’1″
  2. Clay Wells, Erwin, Tennessee, 16’11”
  3. Taylor Fox, Boone, NC, 16’9″

Long jump – Women

  1. Tai’lah Ware, Salisbury, NC, 13’6″
  2. Jane Gray Zechini, Raleigh, NC, 11’1″
  3. Dashia Canada, Salisbury, NC, 10’11”

880 Yard Dash – Men

  1. Moses White, Deep Gap, North Carolina, 2:27
  2. Colin Harckman, Wilmington, NC, 2:27.2
  3. Brett Kelley, Hanahan, SC, 2:30

220 yard dash – Men

  1. Patrick Freeman, Boone, North Carolina, : 25.93
  2. Joel Simpson, Waxhaw, NC, : 26
  3. Kevin Stroud, Raleigh, NC: 28.75

440 yard dash – Women

  1. Dashia Canada, Salisbury, North Carolina, 1:11
  2. Madelyn Sursi, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1:33
  3. Leah Rowe, New Castle, Delaware, 1:41

440 yard dash – Men

  1. Patrick Freeman, Boone, North Carolina, 1:03
  2. Colin Harckman, Wilmington, NC, 1:05
  3. Kevin Stroud, Raleigh, North Carolina, 1:05:.3

100 yard Dash – Women

  1. Tai’lah Ware, Salisbury, North Carolina, 12:15 p.m.
  2. Dashia Canada, Salisbury, NC, 12.6
  3. Kimora Chaulk, Salisbury, North Carolina, 14

100 Yard Dash – Men

  1. Patrick Freeman, Boone, NC, 11:25 a.m.
  2. Joel Simpson, Waxhaw, NC, 11:31 a.m.
  3. Taylor Fox, Boone, NC, 11.4

Dash 220 yards – Women

  1. Dashia Canada, Salisbury, North Carolina, :31
  2. Kimora Chaulk, Salisbury, North Carolina, : 32
  3. Jorja Fox, Easley, SC, : 32.7

1 thousand

  1. Colin Harckman, Wilmington, NC, 5:05
  2. Noah White, Deep Gap, North Carolina, 5:34
  3. Brett Kelley, Hanahan, SC, 5:36

2 miles

  1. Colin Harckman, Wilmington, NC, 11:28.3
  2. Brett Kelley, Hanahan, SC, 13:42
  3. Leah Rowe, New Castle, Delaware, 4:32 p.m.

The 2022 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games took place July 7-10 at Grandfather Mountain’s MacRae Meadows in Linville, North Carolina. To learn more about the Highland Games, visit www.gmhg.org.

The non-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and appreciate the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, visit www.grandfather.com.

GMHG_100_Yard_Dash_LB_Photo Courtesy of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation: Tai’lah Ware, Dashia Canada and Kimora Chaulk compete in the women’s 100 meter sprint during the 2022 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. (Photo courtesy of the Grandfather Foundation) father Mountain Stewardship)

GMHG_880_Yard_Dash_Winners_Barefoot_LB_Photo Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation: Moses White finished first in the men’s 880 meter barefoot sprint at the 2022 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. Colin Harckman and Brett Kelley finished second and third respectively. (Photo courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation)

GMHG_Patrick Freeman Long Jump_LB_Photo Courtesy Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation: Appalachian State University track and field athlete Patrick Freeman takes off during the long jump competition at the 2022 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. received the distinction of Most Outstanding Male Athlete. (Photo courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation)


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Jennifer R. Strohm