Competition fierce at fair pedal tractor pull

7/29/2013

Competition fierce at fair pedal tractor pull

Competition fierce at fair pedal tractor pull

By ANGIE HAFLICH

ahaflich@gctelegram.com

There was fierce competition Saturday at the Finney County fairgrounds as 4- to 11-year-olds tested themselves in the pedal tractor pull contest.

Nine-year-old Kourtney Cole came away with a first-place medal for her age division. She has been competing in pedal tractor pulls since she was 4 years old.

"And I got first through second all those years," she said.

Every age division saw stiff competition, as each participant was required to pedal a tractor attached to a weight-transfer sled filled with progressively heavier weight for finalists who qualified by reaching a certain point.

As the kids pedaled, the weight transferred up to the front of the sled, making it more difficult to pedal.

When asked what helped her win her division, Kourtney cited two things: "I ride my bike a lot, and I do swimming," she said.

She also said she likes the competition because it builds strength and muscle.

In the 9-year-old division, Laila Rios placed second and Riley Scoggins was third.

The 10-year-old division, which saw several tie-breaking pull-offs, proved most competitive.

Five kids were left standing after the initial pull. With each subsequent pull, additional weight was added to their sleds, but the five remained until the final pull, when 10-year-old Katie Mongeau came away with first place, followed by Cierra Huber and David Tidwell.

Seven-year-old Caleb Scott stayed in that age group competition for a couple of rounds, despite it being the first time he'd competed. He said it was difficult.

"When the weight gets on it, it gets really heavy," Caleb said.

The top two finishers from each age group received medals after the competition, and the top three finishers are eligible to compete at the Kansas State Fair pedal tractor pull on Sept. 8 in Hutchinson.

In the 4-year-old division, Colton Cobregon took first place, followed by Lexi Averhoff in second.

In the 7-year-old division, Kevin Weiner was first, Paisley Huber took second and Brek Averhoff finished third.

In the 8-year-old division, William Hoffman took first place, Ryann Warren was second, and Koda Swords placed third.

In the 11-year-old division, Ibby Swords took first, Nicole Nuss was second, and Alex Solorzano came in third.

While kids age 3 and under didn't compete with the bigger kids, they did get to ride their own pedal tractors. When asked what she thought about riding the tractor, 3-year-old Makay Hammond was too busy eating ice cream to comment.

"Did you just pedal, pedal pedal," Makay's mom, Delaina Hammond asked, to which she received a nod, as Makay continued eating.

Jennifer Gerber, coordinator at the Finney County Farm Bureau Association, the corporate sponsor of the event, said the state competition can consist of close to 1,900 kids.

Kourtney, the 9-year-old division winner, said she has competed at the state level before, but it's a lot more difficult to win. Her dad, Matt Cole, said the state competition takes about six hours.

"He's only able to go there if he's not working. He's a cop," Kourtney said. "I sort of want to be like him."

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