Kids get their turn at the tractor pull

August 03, 1998

Ag expo tractor pullBy BRENDAN KIRBY / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer [enlarge]

SHARPSBURG - Keerstie Robinson has grown up watching her father compete in tractor pulls.

On Sunday, the 6-year-old Windsor, Pa., girl got a chance to win one of her own.

Keerstie, or "Sis," as she is nicknamed, won the pedal tractor pulling contest in the 5- and 6-year-old division at the Washington County Ag Expo at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center. The contest was sponsored by the Washington County Farm Bureau.

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Had Sis ever competed in this kind of event before?

No, she shook her head.

Did she expect to win?

Yes, she nodded.


Actually, that's not quite accurate, according to her mother, Bobbie Robinson.

"She didn't want to do it, because she said, 'Mom, what if I don't win?'" she said.

Robinson said she tried to prepare her daughter for disappointment. After all, her father, who will compete this week in a real tractor pull, doesn't always win.

"I tried to set her up for the loss," she said. "This was her first time. Now, her head will be this big."

The pedal tractor pull works just like a real tractor pull. Only instead of an engine, the tiny tractor is powered by feet.

Contestants pedal down a 40-foot strip of dirt, hauling a box filled with various amounts of weight. Those who make it to the end, which is called a "full pull," move on to the next round, where more weight is added.

Sis Robinson easily made it to the end with 10 pounds in the first round. She also scored a full pull with 30 pounds behind her.

By then, the original field of 38 boys and girls was winnowed to eight finalists.

With 60 pounds, Sis pedaled 26 feet and 11 inches, outdistancing the second-place finisher by more than a foot.

For her victory, Sis received a trophy donated by the Pomona Grange and a toy John Deere tractor.

In the 7- and 8-year-old age class, Miles Trumpower came away with the first-place trophy. He was the only one of 33 contestants who was able to achieve a full pull with 60 pounds.

"I just hit it hard," said the 7-year-old Maugansville resident. "I have strong legs."

Miles' mother, Michelle Trumpower, said she found out about the pedal pull from the newspaper and her job at Farm Credit.

Trumpower said she does not know why her son was the only contestant who was able to get to the end.

"I just know that he's a strong boy," she said.

The second-place finisher was Cody Robinson, a 7-year-old who lives on Mount Aetna Road.

Cody, who placed fourth in the 5- and 6-year-old division last year, said he was surprised he did so well on Sunday.

"I just went hard and fast," he said.

Cody pedaled 27 feet, 2 inches.

"We didn't think he'd do this," said his father, Scott, who grew up on a farm.

"I told him not to expect for much, but to do his best," added his mother, Jami.

The winners in each class were as follows:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> 5- and 6-year-olds (60 pounds):

1. Keerstie Robinson, 26 feet, 11 inches
2. Elliott Reid, 25 feet, 6 inches
3. Andrew Lowery 24 feet, 10 inches.
4. Anthony Henry, 22 feet, 6 inches.
HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> 7- and 8-year-olds (60 pounds):

1. Miles Trumpower, full pull
2. Cody Robinson, 27 feet, 2 inches.
3. Derek Wiles, 26 feet, 8 inches
4. Kenny Frey, 25 feet, 7 inches.
HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> 9- and 10-year-olds:

1. Justin Hovermale, 21 feet, 4 inches (110 pounds)
2. Joni Houser, 21 feet, 1 inch (110 pounds)
3. Justin Artz, 28 feet, 5 inches (80 pounds)
4. Heather Griffith, 28 feet, 2 inches (80 pounds)

All contestants received a bag of toys, donated by the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative.

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