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Pedal Power, Kids muscle their way to the finish line

July 24, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

When asked what helped him place second in his category of the Washington County Ag Expo pedal tractor pull, Kody Zeigler was quick with his answer.

"It takes lots of muscles," said the 5-year-old first-time competitor in the popular Saturday evening event. The son of Kevin and Kristie Zeigler and a student at Old Forge Elementary School, Kody managed to complete the tough course three times at increasing weights each time.

And his older brother, Kory Zeigler, went the whole route twice. "You have to pedal hard," was Kory's explanation of his style.

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The winner in the 5- to 6-year-old category was Zach Holder, 5. The top five winners in each of the three weight classes received a variety of farm toys as a reward for their efforts.

The competition tested the youngsters against gravity, pulling heavier and heavier weights behind a toy farm tractor powered solely by their pedaling ability.

There were many different techniques. Gum chewing was popular as was grinning at mom and dad in the stands. Some huffing and puffing was evidenced with most youngsters wiggling their tongues.

"This is my first time to compete," said Chad Shumaker, 7. The son of Leon and Kristine Shumaker of Hagerstown, Chad was nervously waiting for his age group to get started.

Watching from the sidelines was Chad's sister, Sydney, who at 4 years of age, was just a little too young to compete this year.

Jessica Doyle, 6, was there with her father, Chris Doyle of Boonsboro. "She wanted to do it just like her big brother," Doyle said.

Brady Doyle, 8, is a veteran competitor, having been involved in the pedal tractor pull two times before. He was hoping to improve his record with a winning performance Saturday evening.

The object of the event is to go as far as you can before stopping. In the younger age groups, the rules allow for the competitors to get one good jerk to see if they can improve their pull distance before stopping again.

The pedal tractor pull is sponsored by Washington County Farm Bureau women's committee along with the Washington County Tractor Pullers' Association.

Washington County Ag Expo is being held this week at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, seven miles south of Hagerstown on Sharpsburg Pike.

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