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Middleton teen making a name for himself on the national stage in highland games, powerlifting competitions

Derek Smith of Middleton is making a name for himself on the national stage in powerlifting and heavy weight highland games competitions.
Derek Smith of Middleton is making a name for himself on the national stage in powerlifting and heavy weight highland games competitions.

MIDDLETON, NS - Middleton’s Derek Smith will be going up against some of Canada’s best when he competes at the Calgary Highland Games on Labour Day weekend and at the Eastern Canadian Powerlifting Championships in October.

Smith, 17, who is a Grade 12 student at Middleton Regional High School, is going into the two highland games’ competitions ranked number one in Canada for Heavy Events, Junior (2015 and 2016). This is his fifth season as a highland games competitor.

The Scottish Heavy Events consist of five events: the stone put, weight for distance, hammer toss, weight over bar and the most famous event, the caber toss.

“Much like a decathlon in track and field, you must compete in every event,” Smith explained.

Most recently, he competed at the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games in Ontario Aug. 11-13, where he placed third overall – just three points out of first place. He had a particularly strong finish in the light hammer category, where he was just one inch off the Canadian record.

Smith will also be competing at the Eastern Canadian Championships for Powerlifting in Halifax on Oct. 26. He holds two Canadian records in powerlifting: squat (550 pounds, Sub Junior, 2017) and the 2016 Canadian sub junior record for a total lift of 1,437 lbs for squat, bench, press and deadlift. Smith also has four provincial powerlifting records, including the 2017 Sub Junior Championship.

“I feel confident going into my upcoming competitions knowing I've put the time and work into getting to where I need to be,” said Smith. “Some of the best athletes in Canada in powerlifting and highland games will be at these competitions, it'll be a battle.”

Smith said athletics “has always been a big part in my life, I played a lot of sports growing up,” giving up a promising track and field career two years ago to focus on powerlifting and highland games.

“I have three main coaches that help me, they all have thrown or still do throw in the heavy events and were all ranked Top 10 in Canada while doing it.”

Looking ahead to next year, Smith will be competing at the national powerlifting championships in Calgary in February, where he hopes to qualify for the world championships in June, also being hosted in Calgary.

 

By the numbers

Here’s a look at Derek Smith’s results at the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games in Ontario Aug. 11-13:

Stone put 14lbs: 34 feet, five inches

Heavy Weight for Distance 42lbs: 36 feet, seven inches

Light Weight for Distance 28lbs: 56 feet, four inches

Light Hammer 16lbs: 119 feet three inches

Caber Toss: Flipped a caber weighing 90 pounds and 16 feet tall, for an 11:00.

Weight for Height: 42 lbs, 15 feet

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