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Jason Fields wins fifth Booster hot-dog-eating contest

The winners of the adult hot-dog-eating contest pose with Anthony Reams, right, of R.J.'s Fresh Meats, the event sponsor. They are, from left, Jason Fields of Pontiac, Ill., Brett Neumann of New Richmond and Jim Frick of Hudson. Photo by Randy Hanson1 / 2
With full bellies after winning the junior division of the hot-dog-eating contest are, from left, Elizabeth Kotoski, Derek Bates and Tavis Foust, all of Hudson. Hudson Booster Joel Foust, right, was the contest announcer. Photo by Randy Hanson2 / 2

Jason Fields called it before the first bite was taken.

"I'm winning. This will be No. 5," said the window salesman from Pontiac, Ill.

Half an hour later, Fields was indeed a five-time Booster Days hot-dog-eating champion.

He swallowed 11 and a half of R.J.'s Fresh Meats' finest wieners, each in a bun, in 10 minutes to win the contest held Saturday afternoon.

Fields has made a tradition of returning to Hudson over the Fourth of July holiday to visit his parents and participate in the hot-dog-eating contest.

His father, Ron Fields, also is a competitive eater. The elder Fields no longer has the stomach for the sport that his son has, however. He finished out of the prize money.

Two newcomers to the sport placed second and third.

Brett Neumann of New Richmond consumed 10 hot dogs in the 10 minutes, and Jim Frick of Hudson ate nine and a half.

Frick, a worker at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Oak Park Heights, said the closest experience he had to competitive eating came when he was in the Marine Corps and had only a couple of minutes to down a meal.

Fields was expecting current Marine Pfc. Ed Kotoski to be his closest competitor. Kotoski, home on leave from his base in Virginia, gave it a good effort but faded down the stretch.

His sister, Elizabeth, repeated as the junior champion. She ate six and a half hot dogs.

Eleven-year-old Derek Bates of Hudson downed six hot dogs to place second in the youth contest.

Tavis Foust, nephew of contest announcer Joel Foust, placed third. He ate five hot dogs.

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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