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Visitor eats his way to 2014 Booster Days hot dog title

Joel Foust, with the microphone, calls the action as 20 eaters compete for the title of 2014 Booster Days Hot Dog Eating Champion. The competitors included Hudson Boosters President Tom Smith, at right wearing a cap. (Hudson Star-Observer photos by Randy Hanson)1 / 7
Anthony Reams of RJ’s Meats & Groceries, left, presents the prize money to Travis Mizejewski, first place; Ross Seiffert, second place; and Ron Bates, third place.2 / 7
The winners of the kids’ contest were, front from left, A.J. Cohen, first place; Kathy Peterman, second place; and Mateo Renta, third place. Standing behind the winners are Rebecca, Anthony and Anne Reams of RJ’s Meats & Groceries. 3 / 7
Shiann Nerby struggles to finish a hot dog.4 / 7
Chris Conway of Hudson, front, leads a cheering section for the hot dog eaters.5 / 7
Hot dog eating competitors near the end of the 10-minute contest. The two standing, Travis Mizejewski, far left, and Ross Seiffert, placed first and second.6 / 7
A.J. Cohen, winner of the youth contest, asks for another basket of hot dogs, served by Booster Jess Genske. Taylor Olson, right, hasn’t finished his first serving of two hot dogs.7 / 7

A stranger came to town for Booster Days and left with 2014 hot dog eating championship -- not to mention a full stomach.

Travis Mizejewski of Amery downed 11 hot dogs from R.J. Meats in 10 minutes to take the title away from Ross Seiffert, the champion the previous two years.

“I don’t know -- wasn’t feeling hungry,” Seiffert, a Hudson native who now lives in Oakdale, Minn., said of his performance late Saturday afternoon in Lakefront Park.

Seiffert ate 10 and a quarter hot dogs to place second this year.

“Last year I did 11 and the year before I did 13. Now it’s down to 10. It’s going in the wrong direction,” he said.

Mizejewski’s previous claim to fame was winning the hot dog eating contest at the 2013 Elmwood UFO Days.

“I just enjoy eating contests,” said the 34-year-old Mizejewski, a materials handler for Strauss Knitting Mills in St. Croix Falls.

“They’re good hot dogs,” he said of the wieners from RJ’s Meats.

Mizejewski’s wife, Michelle, said he’s a good eater at home, too.

Perennial contestant Ron Bates, father of 2013 Hudson Princess Chelsea Bates, placed third, consuming nine hot dogs.

It was the same number he ate during regulation time last year, when he placed second.

The prize for first place was $25 in cash and a $25 RJ’s gift certificate, for second place, $15 of each, and for third, $10 of each.

A.J. Cohen of Hudson won the youth contest by eating five hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Kathy Peterman of Hudson ate four hot dogs to finish second.

Mateo Renta of Hudson defeated Taylor Olson of North Hudson in an eat-off for third place.

The youth prizes were $25, $15 and $10 in cash.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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