February 21, 2012
Twelve-year-old Keatin Hales and his dad, Bob Hales, can eat a 5-quart pail of ice cream between themselves in about two days.
When Delaware County Farm Bureau volunteers put about a third of a 5-quart Neapolitan ice cream pail in front of Keatin, he and his family members knew he had a good shot at winning the ice cream eating competition Sunday afternoon.
Sure enough, Keatin was first to finish his plate of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream, beating out 19 other 10- to 18-year-olds surrounding him at the plastic covered picnic tables next to the Delaware County Farm Bureau tent.
The competitors were required to eat the large amount of ice cream while bound in a black garbage bag. No hands were allowed in this contest — if the bowl moved, contestants had to move it back in front of their faces with their head or nose or wait until a farm bureau volunteer could move it for them.
Keatin, a seventh-grader at Berkshire Middle School, had few words to say while he was face-first in his ice cream, but once farm bureau volunteers had named him the champion, he announced “My mouth is numb.”
An older boy at the other end of the tables was making quite a dent in his ice cream, but in the end, Keatin prevailed.
Recently, Keatin had a case of poison ivy and had “to take medicine that makes him hungry,” which could’ve helped his performance, he said.
Whether the medicine helped Keatin’s performance or not, he knew going in that he would win the competition, he said. He even told his family, those competing against him and a farm bureau volunteer.
“He told me he was going to win,” said Carolyn Slone, farm bureau member.
Keatin only experienced a numb mouth, messy face and sticky hands, but not brain freeze, he said while rubbing his stomach after the competition. While cleaning up, ice cream could be seen on Keatin’s eyelashes, forehead and inside his nostrils.
For his feat, Keatin received a $25 cash prize, but had no immediate plans for it.
“I’ll probably save it,” he said.
Barb Kilfian of Huntsville, attended the competition to support her grandson.
“I was screaming, ‘You’ve got it,’ and ‘Just eat!’” Kilfian said.
The hot dog eating contest was just a few hours later. Keatin and his 6-year-old sister, Kennae Hales, had already signed up for that food challenge as well.
The chilly challenge topped off a slew of events featured in the Ag Olympics, including a bubble gum blowing competition, a sack race, a three-legged race, an egg toss (raw), duck race and barnyard golf.
Smith Elementary fourth-grader Mary Grace Duffy, the bubble gum blowing contest winner, said the Dubble Bubble, the dispersed gum at the competition, is the best for blowing bubbles. Her technique is simple, she said.
“I go really slow, and gradually get faster while the bubble goes bigger and bigger and bigger,” said Mary Grace, 9.
Jamey Hackett, 18, was the winner of several categories, including the bubble gum blowing. Several adults appeared to be blowing larger bubbles than Hackett, but toward the end of the time limit, Hackett pulled off the largest bubble of the day.
“I’ve done this since I was a kid,” said Hackett, a recent Hayes High School graduate. “I don’t really practice, but I’ve won seven years in a row.”
The Frentsos siblings, Erin Frentsos, 14, and Paul Frentsos, 11, said the Ag Olympics is a tradition in their family.
Erin and Paul both won the three-legged race and the egg toss. Erin made the winning egg toss catch in the 11 to 14 age category.
“Growing up with four brothers, this is easy,” Erin said. “I know how to catch. I just angled it and went for it.”