LINVILLE — To her students, she’s known as Ms. Hapner, but in the 64th Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, she’s in class of her own.

Elissa Hapner, an elementary school teacher from Aurora, Ill., schooled the competition in this year’s women’s Scottish athletic events.

Hapner won the 14-pound weight (thrown for distance), the sheaf (thrown for height) and the 28-pound weight (thrown for height). She placed second in the clachneart (eight-pound stone for distance), the 28-pound weight (thrown for distance), the 12-pound hammer throw and third in the caber toss.

This was Hapner’s first time at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.

“I love it,” Hapner said of the games. “Yeah, it’s great and has beautiful surroundings. There were so many people in the crowd, and the crowd was getting involved, and we love it.”

Hapner, 30, not only placed first this year’s games, but is also ranked No. 1 in the world — a spot that she has held for the last two years. She also holds the world record for the sheaf toss, which she accomplished in Indiana in 2018.

Originally from Aurora, Ill., Hapner attended Aurora University, where she competed in track and field. Her university coach was the one who first told her about the games.

“I like lifting, I like being outside, and I like throwing,” Hapner said. “So, put those three together, and this is something you can do.”

What Hapner particularly loves is the competition aspect of the games, and how they never know who might come out on top.

“When you get to that top five, top seven girls, we just battle it out like crazy,” she said. “So, no one’s winning all of them, but it’s more like this is my better one, and I’m going to win this one, and that’s your better one, so we just kind of battle it. So that’s why it’s great for the points, because by the end of the day, how did you even out.”

Megan Mckee, 27, of San Jose, California, finished second overall, while Aslynn Halvorson, 27, of Anderson, S.C., came in third.

McKee, who is ranked fourth in the world, followed in the footsteps of her father, who was also a professional. She has been competing for five years. McKee hopes to perform a little better in worlds, which is coming up in September, to boost her overall ranking.

The 64th Grandfather Mountain Highland Games took place July 11-14 at Grandfather Mountain in Linville.

To learn more about the Highland Games, visit

Final Results


Adriane Wilson — 43’3.5”

Elissa Hapner — 39’11.5”

Megan McKee — 38’9.5”

28-pound Weight Throw (distance)

Adriane Wilson — 48’8’’

Elissa Hapner — 45’1.5’’

Aslynn Halvorson — 42’0’’

28-pound Weight Throw (height)

1. Elissa Hapner — 17’6’’

2. Megan McKee — 15’

3. Aslynn Halvorson — 14’

14-pound Weight Throw (distance)

Elissa Hapner — 79’10”

Aslynn Halvorson — 77’1”

Adriane Wilson — 76’2.5”

12-pound Hammer

Megan McKee — 100’4’’

Elissa Hapner — 98’11’’

Adriane Wilson — 92’3’’

Caber Toss

Adriane Wilson — 12:00, 12:00, 11:30

Megan McKee — 12:00, 12:00, 2:45

Elissa Hapner — 12:00, 11:45

Sheaf Toss

Elissa Hapner — 28’

Aslynn Halvorson — 26’

Megan McKee — 24’

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