EAU CLAIRE, Mich. – A 15-year-old Michigan girl said there was nothing special about the way she spit a cherry pit Saturday.
"I just took a deep breath and pushed hard," said Megan Ankrapp of Buchanan, whose pit landed at 49 feet, ¼ inch — longest of the day at the 42nd annual contest in southwestern Michigan.
"I was shocked," she said.
Megan won the women's category but didn't participate in the overall championship round because her earlier spits were too short to qualify.
The championship spit-off was claimed by Kevin Bartz of Niles with a winning distance of 48 feet, 8 inches. He was followed by 2014 champ Brian Krause at 48 feet.
"Here I was all excited to finally beat the Krause family and I look up and say, 'Wait a minute. One of the girls beat me,'" said Bartz, 48. "It's not quite as exciting."
A member of the Krause family has won 26 events since farm owner Herb Teichman began the contest in 1974, partly to celebrate the region's tart cherry harvest. Brian Krause holds the record spit of 93 feet, 6½ inches, set in 2003.
The event is held at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire, 110 miles east of Chicago.