(Neb)-Eric Landen New Buffalo Chip Throw Champion
CHADRON - Chadron chiropractor Eric Landen is the 2019 World Champion Buffalo Chip Thrower. The 35-year old Chadron native won the title Saturday during the town's 43rd annual Fur Trade Days celebration by tossing a piece of dried buffalo dung 145' 7.5".
That's well short of last year's winning throw of 177-0 by Chadron State College track athlete Gregg Peterson of Highlands Ranch, Colo, and the individual record of 186-7 set by Gary Lackey of Detroit Lakes, Minn, in 2000.
The all-time record is 204-feet by Chadron State College track All-American Kail Bowman in 1990 during a since-discontinued team event.
Chadron residents swept the top 3 places this year in the men's 18-and-over category with Landen followed by 37-year old runner-up Melvin Oldaker at 140-2 and 22-year old Calder Forcella 3rd with a throw of139-0.
Winning the women's overall and 18-and-over titles was recently graduated Chadron High track standout True Thorne with a throw of 107-3, which topped all other female competitors by 30-feet except for 13-17 winner Haylee Wild. The 14-year old Wild's winning throw was 104-6.
15-year old Jamie McKinnan of Newalla, Oklahoma, was the male 13-17 champion at 128-8 and Trae Owsley of Chadron took honors in male 7-12 at 106-11.
Sophie Watson was the female 7-12 winner with an 86-0 throw and finishing on top of the 6-and-under combined category was jakob Schledewitz of Hemingford at 49-7.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts competed in a special Politicians category and topped his lone competitor, Chadron city council member Cheryl Welch 91-8 to 58-2.
The Buffalo Chip Throw moved back to its traditional home in front of the Dawes County Courthouse after being downtown last year and attracted 119 competitors, up 4 from last year and 31 more than in 2017 despite having just 5 girls in the 13-to-17 category.
The biggest age groups were 18-plus men and 6-and-under, each with 31, male 7-12 with 28, and 18-plus women with 17 chip throwers.
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