Local young athletes are getting set to compete in the 2018 Saltwater Highland Games

Local young athletes are getting set to compete in the 2018 Saltwater Highland Games

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The 2018 Saltwater Highland Games kick off in just a couple months.

With a bigger venue this year in the North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex, organizers say there will also be even more events, especially for young local athletes.

With so many games celebrating Scottish heritage, the competition will be fierce this year.

Sami Walser and Arwen Jeger of Conway are practicing the Caber toss and weight for distance, sports they had never tried until recently.

"It felt pretty good; I was picking it up pretty fast," Arwen said. "I was doing good with it and kept getting the 12 o' clocks pretty quick."

Todd Cartner, executive director of the 2018 Highland Games, said these events will be the only place for this kind of competition along the Grand Strand.

"The junior athletic competition will include kids ages 13 to 17, boys and girls, to compete, and we are one of the first in the Carolinas to ever hold that event, and right now we will be the only one doing that this year," Cartner said.

Practice makes perfect for Arwen, as she's already picking it up after her first couple of Caber tosses.

"Took me about three tries and I had to get my balance straight because you have to bend down to pick it up and I kept going backwards with it, because you have to make sure it's still," Arwen said.

There will be more opportunities for Arwen to fine tune her skills heading into the games.

"For the junior athletics, we want to teach the kids how to do the events properly," Cartner said. "There are seven events that the adults do, and the kids will be able to do four of those," Cartner said. "So January the 27 and Feb. 10, we will be holding a clinic in Market Common for the kids to learn how to do this."

Junior athletes and Novice Men's or Women's Division need to preregister online and must attend at least one of the two clinics to be able to compete in the games, which will be held March 23 through March 25. Registration is $35 and winning competitors could even win up to a $1,000 scholarship.

WMBF News is a proud sponsor of the Third Annual Saltwater Highland Games.

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