A ‘New’ hot dog champ in town
By MIKE EDDLEMAN
Amid a group of trophies on 11-year-old Kolton New’s desk in his room is a new, tall, shiny centerpiece.
It is a symbol of his conquering of another challenge to his competitive spirit.
The trophy will remain in that place of prominence until Kolton takes it with him to defend his title next July as the reigning Liberty Hill Independence Day Spectacular Hot Dog Eating Champion.
“(My desk) is where I put my important trophies, and it is in the very middle, that’s how cool it is,” Kolton said.
Kolton put down 8.5 hot dogs in five minutes to take the title against a dozen opponents. The next top finisher ate seven, but Kolton was only focused on the tray in front of him and not being distracted.
His dad Will said they have always taught Kolton to do his best and not worry about what others are doing, and that has helped him be competitive and successful.
“I was just thinking about winning, and not looking at anybody else,” Kolton said of the competition around him. “I was trying to make sure I ate them all, but I didn’t. I got close.”
When he saw the tray of 10 dogs in front of him, Kolton didn’t believe he could eat them all, but he nearly made it. He said he thought about practicing in the weeks before, but decided against it, choosing instead to just focus on the task at hand the day of the competition.
He was encouraged by his mom to enter the contest, then he got a lot of encouragement from friends throughout the week before the competition that helped him along the way.
“He is a competitive kid in general,” said Will. “His mom’s support and backing encouraged him to go out and have fun and try it.”
At the contest, as Kolton worked, his cheering section knew just what to do.
“We’re used to it,” Will said of being on hand to cheer on Kolton. “He’s always been a competitor at heart. He’s been a state champion in wrestling already multiple times. He’s been a part of a championship football team, so for us, being a competitor is not something new and for him it’s one of those things where he thrives.”
That competitive spirit is what put Kolton over the top, and doing it in such a fun atmosphere made it that much better.
“He’s very driven when it comes to competing. That’s when he shines,” Will said. “He was there to win, but he just wanted to have fun, enjoy the Fourth of July and do something cool at our community event.”
For Kolton, winning a unique contest, so different than the sports he competes in, was exciting.
“It was really fun because not everyone gets to win something like that,” Kolton said. “I felt really good because people were saying my name and cheering, and people were taking pictures of me and that was really cool.”