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Hayley Beitel is heading back to Akron, Ohio.
Beitel, a former All-American Soap Box Derby national champion, won the Masters Division championship at the 13th annual Tullahoma Soap Box Derby on Saturday. Now, the 2008 Super Stock world champion is set for a return trip to Ohio hoping to bag a third national championship for Tullahoma.
She will be joined by Saturday’s Super Stock winner, Caroline Cooper, and Saturday’s Stock division champion, Trevor Mattasits. Andrew Gonce, who won the Super Kids division, has also earned a trip to Akron, home of the 75th annual All-American Soap Box Derby.
The foursome from Tullahoma will be eyeing a third national title for the city of Tullahoma.
Along with Beitel’s win in 2008, Tullahoma’s Perrin Norris won the Stock division world championship in 2004.
“It’s a great chance for them to go up and represent Tullahoma in the international race,” said Tullahoma Park and Recreation director Kurt Glick. “People come from all over the world up there. We have won it twice, which is kind of unheard of in international competition.
“In the Soap Box Derby (circle) Tullahoma is kind on well-known. When they hear Tullahoma, they kind of know.”
Glick helped get the city’s downhill race started 13 years ago.
“I was at a parks and recreation conference and they had a class about how to get involved in it,” he said. “I remembered it as a kid, seeing it on Wide World of Sports. I thought it would be a good opportunity for Tullahoma and our community.”
Now Tullahoma’s champions have a chance to prove themselves on a national stage.
On Saturday, Beitel had to beat her brother, Roscoe Beitel, to win the Masters championship. Cody Quillen, who went to Akron a year ago to compete in the Super Stock division, finished third.
In Saturday’s Super Stock race, Cooper finished first ahead of Claire Quillen. Claire Quillen Claire Quillen was last year’s Stock champion for Tullahoma. She advanced to the second round of the international event in Ohio before being eliminated.
Andrew Mahaffey finished third in the Super Stock division.
Mattasits won the Stock championship with Bailey Clark finishing second and Cane Strite placing third.
Gonce is a first-time winner in the Super Kids division. Jayden Sullenger finished second, Gage Brock was third and Hannah Peels fourth.
The 75th All American Soap Box Derby is scheduled for Saturday, July 21.
Competitors from all around the nation will descend upon Akron, Ohio for the weeklong event, which will begin with the Champions Official Welcoming Ceremony on Monday, July 16.
By ROBERT HOLMAN, Sports Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)