XENIA – Children participating in the Pee-Wee Swine Show Wednesday morning may have needed the help of their parents to make it to the competition, but they stepped into the ring and showed the hogs all on their own.
Participants varied between the ages of 2 and 8 years old, and competed against other individuals of the same age in six respective categories. The final round included all the winners, and Sydnee Hawkins won overall.
Hawkins additionally won the 8-year-old category, and competed against Luke Marnone, Brody Day, Talley Hartranft, Tristan Johnson, Otis Boyette, Le Shara Noonan and Makayli Marinelli.
Brady Bishop took home the gold in the 7-year-old category, competing against Chloe Hunter, Mason Lovett, Gabby Teters, Hunter Davis, Elizabeth Caraway, Julia Fleck, Monet Vest, Carson Bone and Mackenzie Ankerney.
Blake Faris won in the 6-year-old category, and competed against Colton Leaming, Clayton Smith, Aubrie Nared, Corey Stone, Evan McClure, Lauren Fleck, Hailee McCalla, Own Sheets, Cody Lairson and Peyton Mrenak.
Faris said he felt good competing, and the key to winning in his category was keeping his eye on the judge, and directing his pig to walk straight.
Owen McDonald took the prize in the 5-year-old category, competing against Lindsay Sticka, Mason Frauenknecht, Rack Sagraves, Austin Stiffler, Allie Ankeney, Myleigh Marinelli, Bradley Hurst and Jeffery Hurst.
Marissa Allen had the winning title in the 4-year-old category, competing against Landen Terrill, Tristan McCalla, Reese Leaning, Jake Maghone, Zoey Sagraves, Ellie Babcock, Casen Hawking and Dalton Marsden.
Two-and-3-year-old competitors inlcuded John Robert Clela, Maggie Babcoch, Rowan Shontz, Dalton Marsden and Rylie Mrenak.
Judge Charles Quallen, a Greene County native and current senior at the Ohio State University, has been showing swine, sheep and horses for the past 10 years. He said he was looking for competitors who could maintain eye contact with him, prevent themselves from obstructing his view to the animal and keep the pig moving about the ring throughout the show.
He feels that the children participating in such competitions will benefit in the future.
“It’s weird being behind the mic and not showing,” he said. “It would be easy to judge 18-year-olds, but to judge [young kids], it’s different. If they continue in 4H, getting their own projects and keep working at it, they’ll get a sense of responsibility, dedication and knowing what it is to work for something.”