Brian Krause, from Dimondale, Mich., participates in the 41st International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship on Saturday, at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire. Krause went on to win with a spit more than 80 feet. (Don Campbell / AP)
Eau Claire, Mich. — When it comes to pit-spitting in southwestern Michigan, it’s tough to beat the Krause family, who on Saturday maintained their dominance in the 41st International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship.
Brian Krause took top honors with a distance of 80 feet, 8 inches, said Monica Teichman, who runs the market at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire, just north of the Indiana state line.
Coming in second this year was Brian’s father, Rick, with a spitting distance of 77 feet, 7½ inches. Kevin Bartz took third with 64 feet, 8 inches.
Last year’s big winner was Matt “BB Gun” Krause with a distance of 41 feet, 6½ inches.
The Krause family has won 26 of 41 of the contests since farm owner Herb Teichman launched the tournament in 1974 as a lark — but also to mark the region’s tart cherry harvest.
Brian Krause holds the record spit of 93 feet, 6½ inches, set in 2003.
More than 100 people tried to qualify Saturday for the championship round.
A strong breeze may have accounted for the long distances after organizers changed the direction of the spitting, Monica Teichman said.
“We had some really good spits here,” she added. “The breeze felt good, but … it wasn’t good for the spitting. We needed to change because we would have been spitting into the wind.”
This year’s winner received tee time at a nearby golf course, a plaque, a medal, work gloves, a drill bit set and various gift certificates.