With a cherry pit and a wad of spit, a Chicagoan managed to upend a two-family legacy Saturday.
Ronn Matt, 46, spit a cherry pit a solid 69 feet, taking the championship title at the 39th annual International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship at a farm near Eau Claire, Mich.
Matt’s win was the first time since 1992 that the champion of came from outside of the Krause or the Lessard families. In fact, the runner-ups this year were Rick Krause, who spit his pit 61 feet and 2 inches, and Matt Krause, who spit a distance of 60 feet and 11 inches, according to competition organizers.
“We just might have a new day dawning” said Lynne Sage, one of the organizers of the competition at the Tree-Mendus Fruit farm just north of the Indiana border. “To have that upset. It’s just huge …To have some new blood in the mix (makes) people are pretty excited.”
The competition, sponsored by the farm, attracted 100 competitors from as far away as Spain and Israel. It was at the family farm‘s competition where Brian Krause set the world record with a cherry pit spit distance of 93 feet 6 and a half inches in 2003.
Three Naperville kids also managed take second and third place in two of the youth divisions. Lauren Cook and Teagan Wendt won second and third place, respectively, for kids between the ages of 6 and 8. Shuter Sophia Cook took third place among competitors between 9 and 12 years old.
Matt isn’t new to recreational spitting as a competitive sport. He has entered a Michigan peach-pit spitting competition on and off for the past 10 years, taking the top honors twice, he said.
“As gross as spitting is, I have had a bad habit of spitting my whole life,” said Matt, who added that his mom used to frown on the habit. “(But) I have realized through the years I could spit pretty far.”
In addition to bragging rights, Matt won the “Olympit” medal, a plaque with a cartoon figure named Mr. Pitoey on it, and a gift package with certificates and swag from area businesses. And Rick Krause handed off a hand-stitched leather belt that has been handed down to each champion for more than a decade.
“He actually put it around me and I said win or lose I would bring it back next year, “ Matt said.
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