Monday, July 16, 2001
Skillet tossing can be a spectator sport.
By JENNINE ZELEZNIK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
BAZETTA -- Andy Titus, 19, took a quick running start, then threw the heavy metal skillet with all his might.
No, the Warren resident wasn't mad about burning his Sunday dinner. He was competing in the skillet tossing contest at the Trumbull County Fair.
As Titus stood, hands on hips, the cast-iron skillet flew through the air, finally landing in the middle of the horse corral - 88 feet, five inches away.
Fellow skillet tosser Joe Smith clapped his friend on the back.
"I hope you never marry a lady who knows how to throw a skillet like you do," he said, laughing.
The contest brought people of all ages together. For James Lewis, 10, this was his second year of competition.
"When you get out there, it looks really easy to throw it," the Johnson resident said. "But then it's real heavy."
Still, he had no doubts about his ability to win -- and indeed, he came first in his age group with a throw of 32 feet, five inches.
Young tosser: Elizabeth Crevier was the first tosser of the day. The 3-year-old, wearing bright pink shorts and a floppy denim hat, held the tiny iron skillet, then tossed it an impressive five feet, eight inches.
"That's probably all the farther I'm going to throw it," said her mother, who was also signed up for the contest.
Caleb Elkins of Liberty sat with his parents in the bleachers, waiting for his chance to compete.
The 8-year-old wasn't sure how he would do in the contest, indeed, "I don't even know what a cast-iron skillet looks like," he said.
His mother, Natalie, couldn't believe they were actually going to throw cast iron skillets.
"Well, they don't call it the corn dog throw," Ron, her husband, teased.
Lewis, chowing on some applesauce and barbecued chicken, added, "It'd be a lot easier if it was a corn dog."
"That it would," Elkins said. "That it would."
Caleb, though, still ended up second in his division, behind Lewis, with a throw of 29 feet, three inches.
"Those pans are quite heavy," he said afterward. "Quite heavy."
Dan Polivka, who coordinates the event, said he got the idea about five years ago from a convention of fair managers in Columbus.
He, himself, has won the contest, which uses different-sized skillets per age group, twice.
"It's just good, old-fashioned fun," he said.