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JT pumpkin pie contest generates laughs, cheers

A pie-eating contest Wednesday at Jim Thorpe High School was more like a WWE performance than a district event.

Students, teachers, school administration and a school security guard competed, eating pumpkin pie on stage in front of the entire student body.

The emcee was student Mason Lazorick, who gave humorous, flamboyant introductions to each of the participants.

Every entry walked to the stage with their personal theme music - just like WWE participants do - ranging from the classical “New York, New York” to the invigorating “Who Let the Dogs Out.” The students walked through the auditorium to the stage making individual gestures ranging from pumped-up statements to boastful predictions.

One of the teachers, Johanna Frey, wore a Lucha libre outfit consisting of a colorful mask and a blue cape.

Lazorick made good-natured fun of every entry, including sophomore Bowden Chicarelli, probably the thinnest individual in the competition. Yet it was Chicarelli who emerged as the overall champion. Chicarelli was the first one to consume an entire 9-inch pumpkin pie.

He defeated last year’s champion, math teacher William Cameron.

Chicarelli then competed in a grand finale with Cameron in a race to devour a can of jellied cranberry sauce. The student won the runoff.

This is the sixth year of the pumpkin pie-eating contest. Principal Thomas Lesisko, one of the competitors, said it is a way for students to begin their Thanksgiving weekend with a fun-filled event.

Also competing was Robert Presley, superintendent of schools.

Neither were able to consume an entire pumpkin pie.

The event was organized by the high school Student Council.

Student competitors ranged from freshmen to seniors.

Robert Kovac, student council adviser, said Lazorick worked for several days on writing the script.

Students who competed besides Chicarelli were Cole Lazorick, Morgan Malaska, Nekhya Strohl, Audrey Banner, Salvatore Capria, Aurora VanAuken, Rosalyn Strohl, William Newton, Evan Murphy and Brandon Swartz.

Faculty members were Johanna Frey, Ron Ellison, Pat Morgans, Kamara Everitt and Nora Oswald.

The security guard competing was Marcella Barbeau.

Oswald gave up early in the contest. While other competitors were still trying to consume their pies, Oswald opened a book and began reading it. It was: “Pi-eating For Dummies.”

Rosalyn Strohl is one of the competitors who said she wouldn’t be eating pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving after competing in this contest. She was only able to eat a small portion of her pie. She said afterward, “I don’t even like pumpkin pie.”

During a brief intermission, three students took part in an eggnog drinking contest. Pualie Rudelitch won against James O’Neil and Andrew Bosi.

Bowden Chicarelli, left, a sophomore at Jim Thorpe High School, signals that he is the first to eat an entire pumpkin pie in the sixth annual pie-eating contest at the school. Other students are, from left, Morgan Malaska, Nekhya Strohl and Audrey Bonner. See a photo gallery at www.tnonline.com. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Left: Jim Thorpe Superintendent Robert Presley, left, and high school principal Tom Lesisko take part in pumpkin pie-eating contest Wednesday at Jim Thorpe High School.
Above: Jim Thorpe High School teacher Johanna Frey wears a Lucha libre wrestling mask during pumpkin pie eating contest at the school. Seated next to her is security guard Marcella Barbeau, who also participated.