Local man to defend world record at Scottish games

by Josh Lanier

Frasure

Eric Frasure is quite skilled at throwing things far – very far.

The 26-year-old Hopewell High School graduate has set numerous world records in a number of events at Scottish games across the country – events with funny-sounding names that have connections stretching back hundreds of years to the Old Country. This year, he will defend his 2010 world records at the Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games set to begin April 15.

Frasure can trace his interest in the sports to the mid 1990s, when he and his father, Scott Frasure, took in their first Lock Norman Highland Games at Rural Hill.

“I remember watching those guys out there and thinking, ‘I can do that,’” Frasure, now of Greenville, said.

Although Eric Frasure was sure, his father took some convincing. But after two years of badgering, his dad was ready to let him try his hand at the games. Eric Frasure was 14 when he first took to the competitors’ field.

Frasure characterized those first few years of competing this way: He wasn’t a natural, but he was stubborn.

“I was willing to keep going out and trying,” he said. “Just being a stubborn teenager, I was willing to keep at it.”

As Frasure upped his training regimen, his skills progressed quickly. He set amateur records in the heavy hammer throw, a 22-pound hammer thrown for distance; the heavy weight throw, a 56-pound weight attached to a chain thrown for distance; and others.

But the sheaf toss – a 20-pound bundle of rope heaved over a bar using a pitchfork-type implement, is where he’s shown the most promise. Last year, he set the world record in the event at the Huntersville games and broke that record of 36 feet-1 inch by an inch later that year at an event in Stone Mountain, Ga.

Frasure was even able to parlay his training for the Scottish Games into a scholarship and standout college career in track and field at East Carolina University.

Jeff Fissel, executive director for Rural Hill, said accessibility is the beauty of events like the Highland Games.

“I think that anybody who sees the spectacle and show of the competitions is going to be drawn to it,” he said. “For some people, it becomes a goal to compete with themselves, but for others, it’s just fun to go out and enjoy everything. But no matter what you’re interested in, the action all happens right in front of you, and you have access to whatever you’re interested in.”

The sheaf toss, as shown above during last year’s Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games, is an event where competitors fling a burlap sack filled with 20 pounds of rope over a bar using a three-tine pitchfork. Eric Frasure, a Charlotte-native and Hopewell High School graduate, will attempt to defend his world record in the event this month at the Highland Games.

Frasure, who’s currently training for a career in law enforcement, has dropped about 35 pounds from his weight last year of 300 pounds, and his training regimen hasn’t been as strict because of his packed schedule. He still hopes for a good showing at this year’s events.

He already knows how he’ll wind down and recuperate from the beating on the body – a cold beer and a massage from his mom, Joanna Barron, a deep tissue therapist at Massage Envy in Huntersville.

“There’s nothing those things can’t fix,” he said.

Want to go?
The Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games take place April 15, 16 and 17 at Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville. The event includes athletic, pipeband and dancing competitions, as well as a number of other events. For more information, visit www.ruralhillscottishfestivals.net.

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