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Washington County Ag Expo & Fair ended Saturday with Olympic flair

July 30, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com
  • Haley Wainwright, 6 of Hagerstown, competed in the Barnyard Olympics relay race during the Washington County Ag Expo and Fair on Saturday.
By Chris Tilley/Staff Photographer

After a week of animal shows, demonstrations, and dog and pig races, the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair ended Saturday with Olympic flair.

About 30 children ages 3 and older competed for guts, glory and frozen creamy goodness in the annual Barnyard Olympics at the expo's main show ring.

The children put their agility, balance, problem-solving and teamwork skills to the test in the games.

Divided into teams named for the animals featured at the expo — cows, sheep, chicks (chickens) and pigs — children raced against one another and against time.

From the starting call of "go," one by one they worked to slip their sneakers, flip-flops, itty-bitty cowboy boots and even bare feet into sacks for the first event of the games — the sack race.

"Go! Go! Go!" parents cheered from the bleachers.

For one girl, Addison Malott, 4, of Ringgold, the sack swallowed her tiny frame, requiring mom's help to hoist her up and into the massive bag.

But that didn't stop Addison from clocking a respectable time to the orange cone and back for her team.

The second event of the games tested each barnyard-Olympian's focus and balance as competitors raced around cones with a delicate egg on a spoon.

Some novices couldn't help but use two hands to ensure the egg stayed safely on the flatware, while seasoned competitors used simple physics to bring their egg back to the finish line.

An obstacle course featuring a gate, bails of hay and a wooden horse would even the field for all four teams going into the last and final event of the games — the water balloon toss.

As teams pushed to make it through the obstacle course in the fastest time, parents pushed their competitors onward with cries of encouragement.

"That's it!" one man cried. "You got it, buddy."

Exhausted from the games and scorching temperatures, the heat tempted many barnyard-Olympians to literally throw the final event and break their balloon, releasing its cool water.

But not twin brothers Noah and Elijah Weddle, 3, of Hagerstown.

Using care, the twins from Creek Bound Farms in Hagerstown, who sported Thing 1 and Thing 2 shirts, kept their balloon intact until the end.

With scores too close to call, every team was declared a winner and each barnyard-Olympian was given a ribbon and free ice cream.

Grinning from ear to ear, obstacle course standout Dominic Dunkin, 7, could only nod when asked about his run Saturday.

"Climbing the gate was fun," he managed to say.

His grandmother, Ruth Moore of Hancock, said this was Dominic's first time at the expo.  

"It's a good day," she said. "If he (Dominic) sees something like this, he wants to be a part of it."

Dominic's brother Andy Dunking, 5, also competed in the games.

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