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Who will be the Kobayashi of the third annual Lettuce Eating Contest?

Miles Kovarik, staff writer

Warren Wilson College’s third year of the annual lettuce-eating contest is set to take place in late October. Whoever said you need hot dogs to have fun?

The goal of the contest is to raise money for the Annual Fund of Warren Wilson. Last year the event raised $200 for the annual fund.

Archeology Professor David Moore, the originator of the event, felt fine about the amount the contest raised. He explained how important even the smallest donations are to the annual fund.

Lets just pretend that mound of hotdogs is a delicious pile of lettuce, and that eating champ Kobayashi is WWC Junior Ben West saddling up for the competition.

Let's just pretend that mound of hotdogs is a delicious pile of lettuce, and that eating champ Kobayashi is WWC Junior Ben West saddling up for the competition.

“Even students who donate quarters to the hat are important,” Dr. Moore said.

The idea of the lettuce eating contest originated with Moore and a group of others at lunch. Paddling team coach Will Leveret and former director of Development J. Clarkson were among the original group that came up with the idea. Apparently, Leveret brought in a head of lettuce to Gladfelter, and money was slapped on to the table betting that Clarkson could not eat it in its entirety.

Last year’s contestants were Clarkson and former student Todd Boera. Boera won. Clarkson’s opponent in 2006 also defeated him. Clarkson did not work at Warren Wilson the last year of the contest, but he remained near to the school and stayed actively involved in the contest. This is the first year a new contestant will replace him.

“A rumor circulated last year J. was going to be replaced, but J. ended up showing up, this time as a masked contestant,” Moore explained.

Keeping within Wilson values, all of the lettuce is from the college’s garden. According to Dr. Moore, Karen Joslin, the garden manager, has a patch already prepared for the contest.
Junior Ben West is the contestant this year against a masked competitor.

“I have never eaten a whole head of lettuce before, but I can eat a lot, and I like salads,” West said when asked whether he could win the contest. “Jay or whoever needs to step it up this year,” he added.
The masked contestant will reveal his identity on tournament day. Just keep an eye out for posters about the contest.

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