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Reigning Pit-Spitter Licks Competition

July 8, 1990

EAU CLAIRE, Mich. (AP) _ Rick ″Pellet Gun″ Krause did it again - hawking a seed 50 feet, 8 1/2 inches to win the International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship.

Krause captured his eighth title Saturday by winning the 17th annual event at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm near Eau Claire. On the women’s side, four sisters placed first, second, third and fourth.

Krause, a 36-year-old substitute school teacher from Sparta, was the champion spitter in 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985 and every year since 1987. His personal best is 72 feet, 7 inches.

″Its just a lot of fun. I like doing crazy things and this ranks up there,″ he said. The key to a good spit, he added, is a clean pit.

Krause’s prizes included apples off a tree at Tree-Mendus for a year, a weekend at a hotel, a dinner and $10 worth of gas.

While this year’s spit of a tart cherry pit fell short of his longest, the victory was the sweetest. His 12-year-old son, Brian, won the youth division with a spit of 35 feet, 3 inches.

Fred Fernau, 21, of Stevensville finished second with a spit of 48 feet, 5 inches.

It was a family affair in the women’s division, won by Irene Grambow, 28, of East Lansing at 30 feet, 5 inches. Her sister, Eileen Meeks of Brown City, was second at 30 feet, 2 inches; another sister, Dee Ann Henn of Okemos, was third at 28 feet, 9 inches; and sister Helene Mueller of Burton was fourth, 26 feet 4 inches.

Contest organizers supplied a rack for pit spitters with dentures, to catch the flying teeth.

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