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3-Year-Old Boy’s Frog Wins Annual Jumping Contest

May 23, 1994

ANGELS CAMP, Calif. (AP) _ A 3-year-old boy with a knack for tickling and giggling had the winning entry in the county’s annual frog jumping championship.

Cody Shilts of Roseville won $750 and a trophy taller than he is at Sunday’s Calaveras County Jumping Frog Jubilee.

The youngest winner of the 66th annual amphibian contest had little to say.

″He just kept giggling,″ event spokeswoman Carol Cook said.

Cody made the crowd laugh when he was asked how long he had been jumping frogs.

″Three years,″ said Cody, who is 11 years younger than the previous youngest winner.

″He was awestruck,″ said his father, Pete Shilts. ″He just gave me a high-five and thumbs up.″

The frog, named Free Willy for the movie whale, totaled 19 feet, inch in three hops to win first place, 3/4 inch longer than the second-place finisher.

Pete Shilts said his son has a way of making frogs relax.

″He rubs their legs, starting at their hips and running right down their legs,″ he said. ″He holds their toes pretty tight. And he tickles their hind legs.″

Pete Shilts said Willy, like its movie namesake, will now be set free.

″We’re taking him back to the pond,″ he said.

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