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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Duct tape, soda and fun at Junior Barnyard Olympics

Monday, July 19, 2004

Paige Fifer launches a bale of straw toward the sky in this year's Junior Barnyard Olympics competition. The event drew participants from age 2 to high school last Thursday at the Saline County Fair in Marshall.
From first-timers like Bryce Allison to veterans like Paige Fifer, this year's Junior Barnyard Olympics featured tough competition.

The contest, which took place Thursday, is a staple of the Saline County Fair and includes several unique events such as the egg toss, the sack race, the calf suck and more. Participants completed all events to score points and show their prowess in barnyard skills; with their ultimate goal winning a $15 first prize.

"I think I've got the biggest guns," joked Paige Fifer, standing in line for the hay toss event with friends.

In this event, olympians chucked a heavily duct-taped bale of straw as high as they could and over a crossbar. If they were successful at a height, the bar was raised and they threw again. By the end of the competition, the bale was in ruins from the many tosses.

Cowboy croquet, the only event to involve a pair of pantyhose, was also a major task for competitors. In the game, players were given a pair of pantyhose with a ball inside them to use as a mallet. They then had to smack another ball through a series of orange cones using only this elastic tool.

Many competitors had special strategies for the events, and the calf suck was no exception. While most felt the best strategy was biting the tip of the bottle, Katie Wansing, 8, attributed her success to the generic version of Sprite that she drank.

For the egg toss, Jacque Vogl promoted a defensive method.

"The trick is catching the egg as far away from your body as possible, so when it splatters it doesn't get all over you," Vogl said while watching Jim Swisher compete.

"Not like that," Vogl said as an egg broke on Swisher, covering his shirt in yolk.

The competition was sometimes intimidating as Jessica Leimkuhler, 3, found out. She was a bit overwhelmed by it all. But after a few minutes of watching all the fun everyone else was having, she joined in too, proving it wasn't all about competition, but just having a good time.

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