An Original Master’s Athlete
John started his throwing career as a track and field athlete, competing in the Olympic Trials in 1960 in the decathlon, before being introduced to the Highland Games in 1964. By 1968, he had become only the second person to turn the Ballantine Challenge Caber. In the 1970’s, John was competing at the highest levels with throwing greats such as fellow Americans Fred Vaughn and Ed McComas, and Scots Bill and Grant Anderson.
John won the U.S. Caber Toss Championships in 1975, and the McVitties Trophy as Best Athlete. He finally began competing as a Master’s athlete in 1994—at the age of 57. In 1997, he was awarded The Chieftain’s Cup from the Caledonian Club of San Francisco for his years of service. John suffered a heart attack competing at Sacramento in 2000, from which he recovered nicely. He still has a number of top age-group throws listed-- in 3 different age-groups-- on SMAI’s Records page.