Wal­lace re­tains ti­tle

Half a point is mar­gin of vic­tory over Kinch

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY ERIC MCCARTHY RUGBY wbu­reau@jour­nal­pi­oneer.com

Alex Wal­lace was urg­ing on the fi­nal com­peti­tor in the Prince County Ex­hi­bi­tion’s 2017 Strong­est Man in P.E.I. on Thurs­day night.

If Wal­lace’s urg­ing had helped Mitch Kinch lift the fi­nal at­las stone into place, Kinch, 28, would have ended Wal­lace’s sixyear reign as strong­man cham­pion. Kinch came up short, and Wal­lace re­tained the cham­pi­onship by a half a point – or 10.29 sec­onds. He had ral­lied in the fi­nal two events to earn his sev­enth Strong­est Man in P.E.I. ti­tle.

“Every­one al­ways likes to see the big stone be­ing lifted,” said Wal­lace, 37, the co-or­di­na­tor of the Cox and Palmer-spon­sored cham­pi­onship. “I was dis­ap­pointed I didn’t get it, so it’s al­ways nice see­ing the last stone lifted.”

As it turned out, none of the five com­peti­tors could po­si­tion the 360 round stone, so the time it took to set four stones be­came the de­cid­ing fac­tor. Wal­lace, fourth up, tore through them in 28.71 sec­onds. He mas­tered them 10.29 sec­onds faster than Kinch, who per­formed last and 10.31 sec­onds faster than third-place over­all fin­isher, Mitch Ill­s­ley.

Kinch, who is from Tyne Val­ley, won the first two events. He flew through the Farm­ers Walk (car­ry­ing 275-pound weights in each hand for 50 feet, and re­turn­ing with a pair of 300pound weights) in just 27.81 sec­onds – 1.22 sec­onds faster than Wal­lace and 3.72 sec­onds faster than Ill­s­ley.

The or­der of fin­ish didn’t change in the sec­ond event – the tire flip – with only 1.87 sec­onds sep­a­rat­ing the top three. The top three then tied in the third event – the over­head log press – all bow­ing out at 270 af­ter Ill­s­ley came oh-so-close to

lock­ing it in.

There were five com­peti­tors, so five points were awarded for first, down to one point for fifth, and no points if a com­peti­tor failed to get a lift, some­thing that hap­pened five times dur­ing the five-event com­pe­ti­tion.

Af­ter three events Kinch held a 14-12 point lead over Wal­lace, with Ill­s­ley third with 10, Dil­lon Fraser from Nova Sco­tia fourth with six and Char­lot­te­town’s Kevin Cud­more fifth with two points.

Wal­lace made his charge in the fourth chal­lenge – the truck dead­lift – earn­ing five points for four lifts. Kinch and Cud­more tied for sec­ond with one suc­cess­ful lift, earn­ing 3 1/2 points each. Ill­s­ley and Fraser failed to earn points.

So, af­ter four events, it was 17.5 points for Kinch, and 17 for Wal­lace. Ill­s­ley was third with 10.

First place would come down to the At­las stones. Wal­lace tore through the first four stones, and his speed would win out. Like Wal­lace, Kinch at­tempted the fifth stone, but couldn’t get

it up be­fore time ran out. Fi­nal points count: 22 for Wal­lace; 21.5 for Kinch; 13 for Ill­s­ley; eight for Fraser, 8, and 6.5 for Cud­more.

The down-to-the-wire fin­ish made the al­ways pop­u­lar Strong­man event all the more ex­cit­ing for spec­ta­tors who lined the ring.

The good side about the out­come, Wal­lace sug­gested, is the close fin­ish will make Kinch even hun­grier next year.

“He knows he was so close,” said Wal­lace.

Kinch said he fig­ured, hav­ing lifted the five stones pre­vi­ously, he could do it again on Thurs­day, but sus­pects the strain from the first four chal­lenges wore him down.

Kinch, who fin­ished sec­ond last year, too, was sat­is­fied with his per­for­mance. He said he had fig­ured the truck dead­lift would be his great­est chal­lenge and it was.

“I would have liked to have won, (but) noth­ing I can do about it now,” he said.

The Guardian

ERIC MCCARTHY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Alex Wal­lace started his rally with a suc­cess­ful 260-pound lift in the over­head log press, and went on to win his sev­enth Strong­est Man in P.E.I. ti­tle at the Prince County Ex­hi­bi­tion on Thurs­day. He fin­ished sec­ond in the first two events, tied for first in the third and won the fi­nal two events in the fiveevent com­pe­ti­tion.

ERIC MCCARTHY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Mitch Ill­s­ley comes ever-so-close to lock­ing in a 270-pound lift in the Strong­est Man in P.E.I. con­test. He ended up in a three-way tie for first place in the event with a 260-pound suc­cess­ful lift. The Alma res­i­dent ended up third over­all in Thurs­day even­ing’s com­pe­ti­tion in Al­ber­ton.

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