The Jackson Weightlifting Club has a team of athletes that compete in Scottish Highland Games. These games include such events as the caber toss, the hammer throw, the stone put, weights for distance, sheaf toss, and weight over bar. These have been contested in Scotland for centuries as tests of strength.
Thom Van Vleck: Thom started throwing in 1995 in Highlands Ranch, Denver, Colorado almost by accident. He was talked into entering the "C" class, or novice class and ended up medaling in all 7 events contested that day and was hooked. Over the years, he has broken the World Record in the Weight Over Bar event twice as a master, and won that event at the World Championships three times (2004,2007, 2009). Recently, he established a best toss in that event with a 56lb weight with the spin style for all Masters, an unofficial World Record. Thom also holds the North American Strongman record in this event, as well as the North American Highlander National Championship record. Thom has competed in over 100 Games and is undefeated as a master outside of the World Championships or International meets. Thom has also set world records in the sheaf toss using the spin technique. There are not official records in this event, but to date Thom hold the best tosses in the 20lb and 16lb sheaf in the 45 to 49 masters group.
Jim Spalding: Jim started throwing in 2002 at Thom's request. Jim immediately became interested in being the best in his age and weight class. Jim has since won 7 Masters World Championships (under 200lbs). He has set several world records and is the only man to win 7 world championships in the history of the MWC.
Bill Leffler: Bill started in the Games at the same time as Jim, again at Thom's request. Bill was a national level masters shot putter and the transition to the games was an easy one. Bill has won 6 Masters World Championships and has been 2nd twice by slim margins. Bill has also set several age group world records.
Mitch Ridout: Next to Thom, Mitch has been to more Games than any other team member. Mitch started in 1997 and has been throwing ever since. Mitch enjoys throwing and has won C and B classes and often finds himself in the role of spoiler in meets as he seems to always have at least one event he reaches the top with.
Tedd Van Vleck: Tedd, contrary to popular belief, is not Thom's son, but his "little" brother. Tedd has competed for over a decade and enjoyed success at many levels.
John O'Brien: John is a strongman at heart, but will take the field with the JWC team from time to time. Most recently, he parlayed his experience in throwing to win the North American Highlander Nationals in 2009 and then repeated in 2010 using his superior throwing skills to out distance the other strongmen in his class.
Josh Hettinger: Josh competes with the JWC and has lots of potential. He has been a good friend of the team as a sponsor thru his business, Sunbrite Laundry. Without his help, the Kirksville Games would not be what they are today.
Other team members include John Mullins, Brenda Bryan, Matt Meinen, Andrew Roby, Aaron Schnieder, Mike McIntyre, Morgan Van Vleck, Mike Cramber and the Osteoblasters Weightlifting Club.