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One for the record books: Throwers from near, far pitch in to set world washers mark

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, July 26, 2014

Alastair Spriggs didn’t make it out of the first round of the “Put Yo Money Where Yo Mouth Is” washer tournament Tuesday at the Wise County Old Settlers Reunion. But it didn’t spoil the night for the Canadian who made the longest trip among the more than 500 participants in the tournament.

Awash in Pitchers

AWASH IN PITCHERS – Two hundred forty-three teams turned out for the “Put Yo Money Where Yo Mouth Is” washer tournament Tuesday at the Wise County Old Settlers Reunion to set the Guinness world record for largest event of its type. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“I remember someone saying there was someone from Florida. That’s not even that far,” said Spriggs, who was in town from Ottawa visiting his aunt in Weatherford.

“The people were nice. They were all rooting for me.”

Spriggs joined his cousin, Ashley Musick, to form one of the 243 teams that battled for bragging rights and apparently helped set the world record for the largest washer tournament. Organizers were given a goal of 125 teams by Guinness to set the record.

“It’s unbelievable. We didn’t just beat the record; we drove a stake in it,” said organizer Carey Williams. “It was a community effort. Everyone pitched in.”

It may take as long as 15 weeks before the record is certified by Guinness, Williams advised.

“It could be 30 days or 90,” he said. “We’ll submit everything – all the video, names, addresses, pictures and the group photo of every player. All the stewards also had to sign reports.”

The players ranged in age from 84 to 6-year-old Austin Zuniga, who won his first-round match with his partner and mother, Gina.

“It was good. We won,” Austin said.

“He did great,” Mrs. Zuniga said. “He’s been practicing with the neighbors. We want to play his dad and brother.”

Winning just added to the fun for the Zunigas, who were glad to take part in the event.

“We’re in the Guinness Book of World Records without having to jump out of an airplane 5,800 times,” Mrs. Zuniga said.

Worth the Trip

WORTH THE TRIP – After a hurried trip from Florida, Adam Mutchler and Lee Molloy took part in the record-setting washer tournament Tuesday at the Wise County Old Settlers Reunion. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The push for the record brought out crafty washer veterans as well as rookies – like Lee Molloy and Adam Mutchler of Miami.

“It was our first time ever throwing washers,” Molloy said.

“It’s much harder than it looks,” Mutchler added.

“We heard about it and wanted to be part of a world record. I think we were part of two – this, and the longest game record.”

But theirs wasn’t the longest match of the first round. C.L. Gage and his partner outlasted their opponent in a game that went on for nearly an hour.

“That’s tough on an old guy,” Gage joked.

Chad Ward and his partner started the tournament 2-0 and thought they would be in the running for the title. Ward explained the proper technique for throwing washers.

“You’ve got to maintain a slight angle or it’ll bounce off the board,” he said.

As the night wore on, teams like Belly Up to the Board and Daddy Was Desperate fell by the wayside. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the Pumpkin Chunkers team of Matt Runkel and Caleb Woodlee was the last team standing.

They prevented Dylan Rottner and Kyle Parker from living up to their team name – 2014 Washer Tourney Champs. The young duo of Lawson and Layton Harris, or 99 Problems but the Pitch Ain’t One, took third.

But even those like Spriggs, who exited in the first round many hours earlier, felt the night wasn’t a washout.

They could take solace in being part of a world record.

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