One local resident has earned her place alongside other 5-year-olds at the 2015 National Pedal Pull Championships.
Molly Whiteside, daughter of Jeannine and Billy Whiteside, won here at the Fayette County Fair in her division during the Pedal Pull competition. Facing off against a dozen kids was no easy task, but Molly prevailed and traveled to the Ohio State Fair to face off for the chance to compete at the National Pedal Pull Championships.
“I was very excited to win here,” Molly said.
“There was about eight or 10 at the state competition this year and this was Molly’s second time competing at that level,” Jeannine said. “What they do is take the top three at the competitions locally, in which our case was the Fayette County Fair. Some of the people behind us at state actually competed at an antique tractor show, so the organization here in the state really gets around and gives lots of kids the chance to compete.”
At the state competition, Molly was yet again in a tough spot, as only a few of these kids would qualify to go to nationals. After three separate pulls from the kids, Molly had won. She pulled nearly two feet more than the child who placed second and sealed her spot at nationals.
“It feels really good,” Molly said. “I also got to go see the Butter Cow at the state fair too.”
“Her dad said that when she popped off in the tractor that her facial expression was just priceless,” Jeannine said. “She had two full pulls, then they had to pull again and one person was eliminated. Finally they had a final pull to determine the winner and Molly had about 20.8 and the other kid pulled around 18. Her dad said that when she got off she was just grinning from ear to ear.”
The 2015 National Pedal Pull Championships will take place in Mitchell, South Dakota at the Corn Palace on Sept. 26. Eight years before the turn of the 20th century in 1892, when Mitchell, South Dakota was a small, 12-year-old city of 3,000 inhabitants, the world’s only corn palace was established on the city’s Main Street. During its over 100 years of existence, it has become known worldwide and now attracts more than a half a million visitors annually.
The palace was conceived as a gathering place where city residents and their rural neighbors could enjoy a fall festival with extraordinary stage entertainment and a celebration to climax a crop-growing season and harvest. This tradition continues today with the annual Corn Palace Festival held in late August each year.
“We heard the Corn Palace where the competitions are being held is a pretty great place,” Jeannine said. “Our kids have never been to South Dakota. Last year Molly had qualified, but I could not get off of work unfortunately. I have been cleared for the time off though this year and we will be able to go. We decided to make it into a family vacation while traveling that way and are going to see Mount Rushmore.”
Molly said she isn’t nervous about the competition, but she really hopes she gets a great big trophy.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy