MOUNDRIDGE — Logan Wulf, a 9-year-old from Moundridge, took eighth place this in this year’s national pedal pull competition this past month at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.
Even though Logan plays football, baseball and basketball, he admits he is not a competitive person by nature, nor does he focus on any special strength training.
“I just like playing sports,” Logan said.
“We stay busy (with sports),” said Jessica Wulf, Logan’s mother. “We’re not a competitive family; we just do it for fun.”
Logan’s natural ability — and the encouragement of his parents — were instrumental in his qualifying for the national pedal pull competition.
“I’m the loud mom you hear at any event, cheering louder than anybody,” Wulf said.
Logan’s journey to the national pedal pull competition began at this year’s Country Threshing Days in Goessel, where he gave the event a try for the first time.
“You get in a tractor and it has a trailer that has a little bit of a slant and then, every time you go, the back wheels turn and there’s a chain that pulls the weights up the little hill,” Logan said.
“It makes the pedaling a lot harder,” Wulf said. “You start out with a lot of momentum but once you get a little ways, the kids really have to struggle to get any farther.”
A three-way tie for first place occurred when three 9-year-olds, including Logan, completed a full pull, pulling as far as the weight could go.
After the weights were adjusted, the three children pulled again to determine first, second and third place winners. Logan ended up in second place, which qualified him the state-level competition.
“He didn’t want to go to the state fair, originally. He wanted to go out to eat instead, but I thought it would be a fun experience for him to say that he was there, so we had to convince him to give it a try,” Wulf said.
Wulf knew competing at the Kansas State Fair’s pedal pull would be much different from Logan’s first experience.
“I told him when we went that the competition was going to be stiff and that Goessel was just a small representation of a state full of 9-year-olds, that we would just have fun and enjoy it,” Wulf said.
As they entered the Bretz Arena at the fairgrounds in Hutchinson, both Logan and his mother were surprised at the size of the crowd that had gathered.
“We showed up at the arena and it was just packed. You can’t walk, you can’t sit, you can’t even be down (at ground level) and see your kid. It was crazy,” Wulf said.
Nearly thirty 9-year-olds competed at the state fair’s pedal pull. As each child completed their pull, their distance would be written on a white board and shown to the audience.
Logan’s turn came near the end of his age group’s scheduled time.
“It’s his turn and I was standing up and cheering for him, videotaping so I can get his length so we can remember,” Wulf said. “When they turned the board and it said 20 something — I knew at that point no one had gotten 20 anything — I got so excited that I dropped my phone.”
Not sure what Logan’s official distance was, the family waited to hear the results.
“We just had to stick around and see and when they announced he won first place, we were pretty excited,” Wulf said.
A distance of 20 feet and 2 inches gave Logan the first-place pull and qualified him for the national competition.
“I was happy,” Logan said.
Logan placed eighth at the national pedal pull competition. He said his success in his first year of competition has motivated him to give the event a shot again next year.
Contact Patricia Middleton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her stories on Twitter at @MacSentinel.