by Thom Van Vleck
Chad Ullom has been a fixture in the USAWA and IAWA for some time. He is a National and World Champ and has a slug of records to his credit. You would think that would be enough to keep him busy but Chad is also a regular on the Highland Games circuit! At one time Chad was a top rated Amateur in Highland Games and regularly won many “A” class Amateur competitions.
A couple years ago Chad turned 40 and as with most of us who threw A class and got older he found himself being beat out by the next generation and soon was competing (and winning) in the the masters category. There was even and younger thrower named Chad Gustin from Lawrence that came along and he soon became “New Chad” and Ullom became….alas…”OLD CHAD”. Anyone over 40 knows the feeling.
Well….”Old Chad” dusted off the age last weekend at the 2014 Kansas City Scottish Highland Games and threw with the A class again. He was by far the oldest in the group but that wasn’t a factor at all. I was the announcer at the games and had a front seat for all of it. Chad began to win or place well in events and soon he was dominating the field. Chad won handily. Chad will tell you it was not the strongest field KC has ever seen but I think all you have to do is look at some of his throws and see that Chad was in top form. For example, Chad had only cleared 14ft in the 56lb WOB once in his 19 year Highland Games career….but he cleared it last Saturday! And almost went higher!
I have to tell you, I found myself being the longest tenured athlete on the field that day going into my 20th season. It was nice to see one of the “old” guys take it to the younger men. Chad came back on Sunday and threw masters and easily won again. It was quite a weekend. Other USAWA members on the field included Dean Ross and myself. We all plan on being at Nationals this coming weekend.
Great job to Chad and maybe there’s something to training like an “all-rounder”!