XENIA — As soon as the five calves were released from their pen at the far end of the pen, July 29 during the annual Greene County Fair Calf Scramble, Wesley Wickline sort of had an eye for the one he was going to try and go after.
There were four dark brown steer and one blonde in the pen.
“I wasn’t really aiming for any particular one of them, I just knew I wanted a steer,” the 17-year-old Cedarville resident said, still breathless, sore and admittedly hyped up on adrenaline from chasing down a 550-pound animal through the mud. “And when I saw that blonde one I thought he looked good, but I wasn’t really aiming for just that one. But when I was in that big clump of cows, and he was right there, I thought I might as well.”
Wickline was the first of five Calf Scramble contestants to tackle a calf, properly harness the animal, and then pull the beast until all four of its legs were completely inside a center circle painted onto the Chip Noble Memorial Track frontstretch. He tackled, harnessed and tugged the blonde steer to the circle in the contest’s first four minutes of competition.
Tyler Morris, 17 of Spring Valley, nabbed the second steer almost five minutes later. By the time the event was finished, the Number 8 on the back of Morris’s jersey was caked in mud and definitely unreadable.
“I’m feeling sore,” he admitted afterward. “I just knew that once I was able to grab onto one of them, I wasn’t going to let go.”
Marshall Oberschlake, 14, of Fairborn should earn a prize for coolest fan T-shirts as well. About 30 or so family and friends wore bright pink T-shirts with the message “Marshall, catch that Moo!” on the backs of them.
Other Calf Scramble winners, in order of their finish, were Logan Cherpeski, 14, of Fairborn, and Devan LapChynski, 15, of Xenia.
The nearly packed grandstand and infield area erupted in a cheer as four girls claimed all the prizes in the Kiddie Calf Scramble for 8 and 9 year olds. Gracie Barron, Lola Smith, Charity Dunn and Rylee Queary claimed respective prizes of $20 dollars, $15, $10 and $5.
Girl Power continued to reign in the 9-10 year olds event as Chloe Trimbach claimed first prize followed by the first boys winner, Trevor Moore, with third-place female Madelin Reater and fourth-place female Tierra Wade.
In the 10-11 year olds competition. Tayla Greene claimed first prize, followed by Alex Horney, Ella Stillings and Jacob Lide.
It wasn’t until the final 11-12-13 year olds scramble that an all-boys finish took place. Gunnar Gannon won the event, then returned to his perch in the Chip Noble track infield to once again wear his sash as the County Fair Prince! Gavin Dailey placed second, Corey Childers was third and James Dray fourth.
Ben Lucas deserves mention in the 11-12-13 competition. At one point, he had grabbed the final tag off a cow’s back only to be driven into the iron fencing by the same cow. Lucas dropped the tag, but earned a sore shoulder for his efforts.
The pen area for the Calf Scramble was watered down, thanks to Xenia-based A&L Water Hauling. By the time the driver had unloaded his tank of water, the Chip Noble Memorial Track’s frontstretch was a perfectly sloppy sea of mud for the final competition.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.