From June 7 to June 9, competitors from more than 21 states traveled to Kansas City to compete in the Scottish Highland Games.
One of the winners of this year's games is a McPherson native.
Andy Stout, 37, has competed in the Kansas City Scottish Highland Games — an annual event that celebrates Scottish Heritage through games, music and events — for the past two years. This year, he won overall first in the men's B class.
The games are separated into three classes. Stout said the B class is for those who have a handle on the different events and required techniques. He said the C class is for those starting out and learning technique, and the A class is for the best of the best.
The games host nine events, each a traditional Scottish feat of strength. This year, Stout won first place in weight over bar, sheaf toss, heavy weight for distance and light weight for distance. He also took second in the caber toss and fourth in the hammer throw.
Stout said he began getting involved after being fascinated by the games in the McPherson Scottish Festival.
“I was watching the guys and girls in McPherson and was fascinated by the games,” he said. “I was looking for a new exercise program and began to get involved.”
Stout said he began training and competing in the McPherson games before starting in the Kansas City games in 2012. Stout won second place overall in the 2012 games.
For training, Stout said he creates his own homemade items and trains regularly with Jen Charlesworth, another local thrower, and his six-year-old son, Alec. Stout said he has also received training from Chris Mason, a class A thrower originally from McPherson who now lives in Hutchinson, and coaches Dave Glasgow and Laynee Burnett.
Stout said while many competitors are also power lifters, a large part of winning the games is about technique.
“I've been beaten very badly by very small guys,” Stout said. “Strength helps, but technique is huge.”
Stout said he wished more locals would get involved in Scottish games and it's heritage.
For more information on Scottish games, and how to get involved, contact Andy Stout at 620-480-0309.
McPherson will host it's own 2013 Scottish Festival and Highland Games from Sept. 27 to Sept. 29. For more information on McPherson's Scottish Festival, contact the McPherson Convention and Visitor's Bureau at 620-241-3303.
Joseph Tuszynski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @JoeTSentinel.