To the victors go the spoils: Tishia Malone shows off her bounty from a competition earlier this year. (Provided photo)

To the victors go the spoils: Tishia Malone shows off her bounty from a competition earlier this year. (Provided photo)

Stone thrower: Malone excels in Highland games

Whidbey Island’s Tishia Malone likes to throw stones — big ones.

Malone started competing in Highland games at age 49 to control her multiple sclerosis. Now, seven years later, she has not only reined in the disease but has become one of the world’s best in her sport.

Malone placed third in her division (women 55-59) at the 19th annual Scottish Masters Athletics Heavy Events World Championships last month in Tucson, Arizona.

She earned world qualifying standards while developing into one of the country’s top athletes in Highland games.

Malone travels all over the United States and Canada to compete and has won numerous titles, including recent games in Penticton, B.C., and Spokane.

She placed second at the Northwest Championships in July in Enumclaw.

Steady growth

“I started working at it and slowly got better,” Malone said. “This year I finally got the gumption to go to worlds.”

She actually qualified for the world championships the past two years but it wasn’t convenient to travel to Iceland and Germany to compete.

With this year’s event in Arizona, Malone decided to take on the world’s best. She came into the tournament ranked seventh and was tied for the lead after the first day of competition.

The second day featured her weaker events, Malone said, and she slipped to third in the final standings.

Malone, however, did “finally beat” two Canadian champions for the first time, she said.

Malone and eventual champion Cindy Johnson of Colorado were the only competitors to finish first in two of the nine disciplines at the world championships.

Malone recorded the best marks in the Braemer stone (13 pounds), 23 feet, 1.75 inches, and the heavy weight throw (21 pounds), 23-3.5. She was second in the light weight throw (14 pounds), 48-10.75, and sheaf toss (10 pounds), 18.

She added a third in open stone (9 pounds), 27-1.25; and was fourth in three events: light hammer (12 pounds), 59-4.5; weight over bar (21 pounds), 12 feet; and caber toss (17-foot pole), 65 degrees.

Malone was fifth in the heavy hammer (16 pounds), 47-8.5.

World champion

Malone, who lives in Coupeville after stints in Oak Harbor, Bellingham and Langley, is shooting for a world title in 2021 when the site of the championships returns to the western hemisphere.

“I’m training hard; I still haven’t peaked,” she said. “I still have a ways to go.”

Malone currently practices on her own about once a week. She does not have a coach but receives pointers from other competitors and judges.

Next year she is going to cut back her competitions, “keeping it light,” to four or five and “do more drills and weight lifting,” she said. “That should help.”

As the 2021 world championship approaches, she will ramp up her training and enter more competitions.

Athletic life

Malone has always been active in sports, playing softball, basketball, rugby and soccer. She also finished a triathlon and several Sea-to-Ski races, but when running became difficult, she turned to Highland games, which were introduced to her by her stepfather. As a spectator she found the sport intriguing and decided to give it a try.

She placed third in her first tournament at age 49 although she was competing against women up to 20 years younger.

Malone, fighting back her MS, now ranks among the world’s best. Nothing like killing two birds with one stone.

Tishia Malone tries to throw a bag of rope over a bar in the Highland games. (Provided photo)

Tishia Malone tries to throw a bag of rope over a bar in the Highland games. (Provided photo)

Tishia Malone hurls a stone at the World Championships in November. (Provided photo)

Tishia Malone hurls a stone at the World Championships in November. (Provided photo)

More in Sports

Photo by John Fisken
Coupeville junior Alita Blouin passes the ball at a game against South Whidbey High School on Monday, Oct. 27. Blouin had a team-high nine digs during the match, which South Whidbey won 3-0 with scores of 25-21, 25-8 and 25-18.
Pass it on

Alita Blouin had a team-high nine digs during Coupeville’s match against South Whidbey.

See caption
Hoofing it

Deer take the field during Coupeville football game

Melany Alanis, senior
Wildcats set 11 school records for weightlifting after summer training

After a summer of hard work, seven female athletes broke 11 school records by lifting heavy.

Photo by John Fisken
Oak Harbor Wildcats go after the ball during the homecoming football game against the Stanwood Spartans Sept. 17. The Wildcats lost 34-14.
Homecoming in Oak Harbor

Oak Harbor High School homecoming football game Sept. 17 had plenty of exciting moments.

Photo by John Fisken
Coupeville volleyball won against Mount Vernon Christian 3-0 on Sept. 14. Schools are hoping more people sign up to become referees because almost all sports are facing a shortage of officials.
School sports need more refs to step up to the plate

High school sports are back in full swing, but a lack of qualified referees could spell trouble.

football
#9 is Will Rankin, senior.
Fall sports return, with some changes

Traditional fall school sports are already underway after two nontraditional school years.

OH Cheer Team
Wildcat cheer team claims first place

Oak Harbor High School’s Cheer Competition Team captured first place at the… Continue reading

Passmore
Wrestling Hall of Fame honors Oak Harbor’s Linsenmayer, Passmore

Also among the 10 2021 inductees is Mount Vernon’s Randy Audette, whose officiating career in wrestling spans 52 years.

Photo by John Fisken
NWLL softball vs CWLL
The crack of the bat

Photo by John Fisken. North Whidbey Little League and Central Whidbey Little… Continue reading

Photo by Shawn O’Connor
Wildcats finish season with program best

The Oak Harbor High School sailing team will take a month off before starting their summer season.

Oak Harbor High School Wildcat sailors compete this weekend in the NWISA Fleet Race Championships. (Photo by Shawn O’Connor Oak Harbor)
Wildcat sailors headed to championships

By Shawn O’Connor for the Whidbey News-Times The Oak Harbor High School… Continue reading

The South Whidbey boys team, from left to right include Aidan O’Brien, Cooper Ullman, Aidan Donnelly, Thomas Simms and Reilly McVay. Photo by Matt Simms.
Falcons cross country make history with state win

It was the first time the SWHS boys cross country team finished in first place at the state meet.