Family maintains its hold on Mich. pit-spitting contest
EAU CLAIRE, Mich.
When it comes to pit-spitting in southwestern Michigan, it’s tough to beat the Krause family, who recently maintained its dominance in the 41st International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship.
Brian Krause took top honors with a distance of 80 feet, 8 inches, said Monica Teichman, who runs the market at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire.
Coming in second this year was Brian’s father, Rick, with a spitting distance of 77 feet, 71/2 inches. Kevin Bartz took third with 64 feet, 8 inches.
Last year’s big winner was Matt “BB Gun” Krause with a distance of 41 feet, 61/2 inches.
The Krause family has won 26 of 41 of the contests since farm owner Herb Teichman launched the tournament in 1974 as a lark — but also to mark the region’s tart cherry harvest.
Brian Krause holds the record spit of 93 feet, 61/2 inches, set in 2003.
This year’s winner received tee time at a nearby golf course, a plaque, a medal, work gloves, a drill bit set and various gift certificates.
Rain + mud = messy good time
Mud Day was even muddier than usual this year.
A steady rain drenched hundreds of kids and parents Tuesday as they ran, jumped and waded into a 75-by-150-foot mud pit during the 26th annual event at a suburban Detroit park.
Todd Mueller missed 2013’s sunny Mud Day because he had to work. But the 43-year-old consultant from Ann Arbor took the day off this year to make it to the Hines Park-Nankin Mills recreation area in Westland with his wife and their two kids.
Not more than 10 minutes in, Mueller was on his back in the middle of the pit covered from head to toe in mud, which he described as “soft and squishy” before his daughter jumped up and slathered on some more.
Jillian Palshan was rewarded for covering herself in the brown stuff.
The 9-year-old from Taylor beat out dozens of other contestants for the coveted crown of “Queen of Mud.” The judges were impressed by Jillian’s “mud helmet,” a thick covering that encircled her face and was perched on top of her head.
This was the best Mud Day ever, Jillian said.
“Because I’m mud queen!” she said, beaming.
The event, hosted by the county park system, included T-shirt giveaways, mud limbo and wheelbarrow races and a cleanup area in which firefighters hosed down participants.