XENIA — Moments after receiving her grand champion market chicken trophy, Brooke Eakle turned to her cheering section and triumphantly held her award up high.
The Farmers and Friends 4-H member from Jamestown wasn’t showboating. She was celebrating the long-awaited and much-anticipated spoils of victory. And it came with the clock slowly tick-tocking away.
“It’s my last year. Done after this year,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to win grand champion in something. I didn’t care what it was.”
She’s won her class before and has had moderate success with pigs in previous years. But she was still waiting to hear her name announced after the final drive.
An eruption of cheers followed that announcement.
“It was an amazing feeling, honestly,” Eakle said. “Relief. I was really nervous.”
She won class 7 with her chickens weighing 22.46 pounds, which qualified her to the final drive.
“I kept them clean, kept them cool,” she said. “Knew all my hard work paid off.”
— After a rare off-year in 2017 when she and her chickens didn’t place, Greeneview junior Hailie Chambliss made a return to the final drive, winning class 1. As she walked away with her trophy, a smiling relative told her “It paid off.”
“Just the hard work that you do at home, working your butt off to get here,” the Ross Champs and Greeneview FFA member said. “Each year you learn different things.”
Chambliss said she didn’t really do anything different this year than last year.
“I’m thinking the heat got to (the chickens) last year,” she said. “I put more fans on them to keep them cool.”
— Brothers Luke and Nathan Russell, members of Country Rebels, claimed the top two spots in Class 4. Luke, who will be a sixth grader at Warner Middle School, won the class but he wasn’t overflowing with confidence during judging.
“I didn’t think they were big enough (to win),” he said.
In his third year showing chickens he has steadily progressed. Luke was fourth last year and did not place the year before.
“We kind of learn from our mistakes,” he said.
Nathan, in his last year in 4-H, was unable to attend due to an EMT class final. Luke didn’t seem too upset that he defeated his older brother in his final year of eligibility.
“He did better than me last year, so it’s kind of revenge,” he said.
Market Chicken Show results (qualifiers to final drive)
Class 1: 1. Hailie Chambliss; 2. Janine Stover.
Class 2: 1. Destiny Crowder; 2. Macy Frizzell.
Class 3: 1. Sydnee Deyo; 2. Chase Jordan.
Class 4: 1. Luke Russell; 2. Nathan Russell.
Class 5: 1. Brooklyn Warner; 2. Heather Dutenhaver.
Class 6: 1. Kimberly Dutenhaver; 2. Aaron Schrand.
Class 7: 1. Brooke Eakle; 2. Devan Lapchynski.
Class 8: 1. Trevor Campbell; 2. Mackenzie Cox.
Class 9: 1. Caitlyn McDonald; 2. Josie Faris.
Class 10: 1. Victoria Chaney; 2. Grace Smith.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.