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Story Last modified at 12:35 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29, 2011

McKim turns Challenge Caber again
Missouri pro also sweeps overall competition

Alaska Star


Sisters Katherine Methven, left, and Rebecca Methven dance to traditional Scottish music during the annual Alaska Scottish Highland Games in Eagle River.

Daniel McKim cashed in again.

McKim, the reigning World Champion in the caber toss, was the only person to stand up to the 20-foot-long, 127-pound Challenge Caber at the Alaska Scottish Highland Games on June 25, taking home $1,000 for his perfect "12 o'clock" turn of the big pole.

By turning the caber, the Blue Springs, Mo. resident was awarded the cash prize by Gwaltney and Associates Insurance. He was also the only person to successfully turn the special stick at last year's games.

Anyone was welcome to try turning the extra-large caber, but only McKim was able to get the pole to turn over end to end. Just like last year, McKim made the turn on his third and final throw, said games athletic events director Tim Kincaid.

"I don't know if he's playing to the crowd or what," Kincaid joked.

McKim's performance capped a big day for the huge man from Missouri. McKim won all eight individual events to sweep the professional competition, easily outdistancing the other four pros in the field. 2010 overall World Champion Larry Brock of Sanford, N.C., was second.

Zack Easter kept his winning streak in the men's Open class alive – but just barely. Easter, who won the Open class in 2006, '08, '09 and '10, tied for first place this year with fellow Wasilla resident Sean Fabinach. Fabinach won the stone and weight events, while Easter won both hammers, the weight for height and caber toss. Anchorage's Jason Dean was third.

In the Men's Master A class, Kenai's Bret McDonald picked up his fourth class title in five years by winning all eight individual events.

"He just wiped the field," Kincaid said.

Anchorage's Robert Anthony was second, followed by Dave Rasmussen.

In the Men's B Master's class, Dave Patterson held off Pat Easter to claim the championship for men 55 and over.

In the women's event, 2009 champion Denise Ryan of Gilbert Ariz. (and pro athlete Andrew Hobson's sister) returned to win her second overall championship. Kenai's Kim McDonald was second, followed by Kenai's Kassi Johnson.

Jimmy Johnson won the men's novice division.

Kincaid said this year's turnout was as high as it's ever been, and he said that if the games get any larger, entries will have to be limited.

"It's about as big as it can get at that venue," he said.

Locals were well represented at the standings. In the men's Master's B division, games legend John Thompson, 67, of Eagle River, finished third in the caber toss and sixth in the division. Thompson is the only person to have competed in all 30 Alaska games.

Also competing in the events were Thompson's daughter, Darline McLaughlin, and granddaughter, Jennifer McLaughlin. Mom was fourth in the women's competition, one spot in front of her daughter.

2011 Alaska Scottish Highland Games

Overall results

Men's Professional – 1. Daniel McKim (Blue Springs, Mo.), 8; 2. Larry Brock (Sanford, N.C.), 20; 3. Harrison Bailey III (Easton, Penn.), 21.5; 4. Greg Bell (Seattle), 32; 5. Andrew Hobson (Gilbert, Ariz.), 36.5

Men's Open – 1. (tie) Zack Easter, Wasilla, and Sean Fabanich, Wasilla, 12; 3. Jason Dean, Anchorage, 34; 4. Clay Hamilton, Anchorage, 44; 5. Larry Martin, 49.

Master's A – 1. Bret McDonald, Kenai, 8; 2. Robert Anthony, Anchorage, 29; 3. Dave Rasmussen, Anchorage, 32; 4. (tie) Jefferson Childs, William Allen and David Todd, 44.

Master's B – 1. Dave Patterson, Anchorage, 11; 2. Pat Easter, Wasilla, 16; 3. Chris Kilday, Anchorage, 28; 4. Rex Edwards, 34; 5. Jim Rogina, 39; 6. John Thompson, Eagle River, 40

Women – 1. Denise Ryan (Gilbert, Ariz.); 2. Kim McDonald, Kenai; 3. Kassi Johnson, Kenai; 4. Darline McLoughlin, Eagle River; 5. Jennifer McLoughlin, Eagle River

Men's Novice – 1. Jimmy Johnson, 9; 2. Tony Reishus, 12; 3. Dan Stephens, 15; 4. Nathan Ford, 20; 5. Tim Patterson, 24.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, June 29, 2011.