RAISBACK MEMORIAL GAMES
RU was well-represented at the fifteenth annual 2010 Raisback Memorial Scottish Games, picking up two of the three top places in the all-around scoring. John Crocker, senior environmental inspector in Facilities Management, and Justin Smith, a junior from Dayton, Va., finished second and third respectively behind champion Tim St. Clair at the popular festival event.
St. Clair won the heavy and light weights for distance, the caber toss events and tied for first in the sheaf toss events to narrowly beat out Crocker for the all-around title. Smith, in his first-ever Scottish games competition, won the weight for height, hammer toss and 17-pount stone toss events.
The games are an annual memorial to Tom Raisback of Lexington, Va., who was a driving force in starting the Radford Highlanders Festival as the athletic director for 10 of the festival’s 18 years.
"Tom's enthusiasm and eagerness to introduce others to the fun and diversity of the Scottish heritage remain a guiding principle for the Radford Highlanders Festival," said game director Don Bowman. "It is a pleasure to help continue his passion and a challenge to match his enthusiasm and good cheer."
David Strunk, of Glenshaw, Pa., and a longtime friend of Raisback, is the current athletic director. Strunk is a veteran Scottish athlete, judge and athlete who participated alongside Raisback in Scottish games for over 30 years. Strunk’s wife, Roz, is the official scorekeeper for the event which includes a men’s and women’s competition. The women’s division historically has been dominated by RU alumna Jess Aydlette, who sat out the 2010 competition awaiting the birth of her daughter.
"The Scottish games are just really unique," says Strunk. "There is camaraderie between athletes like nothing else. Each athlete competes hard, yet they cooperate to help one another improve."
Strunk currently directs games in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and Georgia. Joining the Strunks on the field to run the Raisback Memorial Games at the Radford Highlanders Festival is Kirk Raisback, Tom's son, who has helped with each of the previous Radford games.
You'll want to come early and get a good seat on the risers. If you'd like to get an early start on your festival day, the athletes start warming up around 9 a.m. in Bisset Park. Plan to stay all day and see these competitors at their best!
To learn more about the heavyweight games or to compete, contact Don Bowman at (540) 831-5182 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.