The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

October 27, 2013

Bucknellians pitch pumpkin 177 yards

SUNBURY — RIVERSIDE — Co-workers Stacy Cole and Holly Brandon weren’t intimidated by the competition they faced in the Susquehanna Valley Pumpkin Challenge on Saturday.

“What we lack in distance, we make up in enthusiasm,” Brandon said.

Problem is the competition, held at Whitenight’s Farm Market as part of the third annual Pumpkin Palooza, tested the five participating team’s homemade catapults strictly on distance.

Cole and Brandon’s arm-powered slingshot made out of wood, a fence post, garage springs and two bungee cords was clearly out-matched by the four other teams’ much larger trebuchets created by Bucknell University mechanical engineering students, employees from Mifflinburg Lumber Co., Lewisburg Cub Scout Pack 3509 and three Shikellamy High School students.

As expected, the engineers from Bucknell won the challenge by tossing a pumpkin farthest into a cornfield at 177 yards, or 531 feet.

Placing second were competitors from Mifflinburg Lumber Co. who launched a pumpkin 111 yards, followed by the three high school students with 73 yards and the Cub Scouts, whose catapult pitched a pumpkin 60 yards. Cole and Brandon were able to propel a pumpkin about 65 feet, not even far enough to land in the corn field, but they had fun in the process.

For Cole, it was also a way to celebrate her son and inspiration, Jonathan Babb, who built a catapult for a high school project a few years ago and will soon deploy to Afghanistan with the U.S. military.

Cub Scouts Jhace Trewitz, Henry Rovnyak, and Ben Feuerstein, all 8, and Zander Tallent, 7, spent more than a month building a large wooden trebuchet for the event and, for safety reasons, watched on the sidelines as their fathers launched the 8-pound pumpkins.

Spectator Scott Blair, of Bloomsburg, studied each of the teams and their trebuchets carefully.

“I’m doing research because I’m definitely going to be a part of this next year. I’ve been wanting to fling stuff for 20 years and there’s nothing that will make you smile more than flinging pumpkins,” he said.

It was the same for Shikellamy High seniors Sam Zartman, Tanner Chesnick and Lance Brosious.

“We’ve been wanting to do this since elementary school,” Zartman said.

They spent two weeks building a 16-foot long catapult and when they tested it the night before the competition, the pumpkin launched a mere 7 yards. The second attempt was even worse.

Their dreams were nearly dashed the morning of the event when the wooden throwing arm snapped in half as they loaded it onto a trailer. The young men were able to make the repairs and scored well in the competition, including winning most creative, but the trio has their sights on an even bigger score.

“We’re hoping to get extra credit in physics class,” Zartman said.

All the competitors will be tested again Nov. 2 at the Buffalo Valley Pumpkin Pitch at Ard’s Farm Market near Mifflinburg on how well they can hit a target with their catapults.

1
Text Only
News
  • Union County bridge replacement project begins Aug. 4

    HARTLETON — A PennDOT maintenance crew in Union County will begin a bridge replacement project Aug. 4 on Pleasant Grove Road, Route 3005, in Lewis Township, between Moll Road and Wirth Road, north of Pleasant Grove.

    July 23, 2014

  • DanCrash23.jpg BREAKING NEWS: Woman killed today in Danville area collision

    DANVILLE – An older woman, from the area, was killed in a log truck-car crash at about 1:45 this afternoon at Routes 642 and 54 in Valley Township.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jay Paterno sues Penn State for 'rush to judgment'

    STATE COLLEGE - Two former Penn State assistant football coaches, including a son of the late Joe Paterno, are suing the university, alleging that it fired them prematurely after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal surfaced.

    July 23, 2014

  • 400-pound bull on the lam

    State police and a western Pennsylvania cattle owner are looking for a 2-year-old bull that has been missing for more than a week.

    July 23, 2014

  • Complainer: Cars whiz by, and drivers take whiz

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike has asked state police to increase patrols near an area of the toll road where a woman says she can see motorists exposing and relieving themselves near her backyard.

    July 23, 2014

  • spider24online.jpg Arachnid alert!

    We came across this spider brunching on another today near the American Legion post in Herndon. We aren't sure what type of spiders they are. Particularly the one with the full stomach. Do you?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today's Editorial: Experts showing the way for reform

    Domestic abuse remains one of the most prevalent crimes nationally yet remains routinely unreported.

    July 23, 2014

  • Feds ship 500 children to Pennsylvania

    HARRISBURG — An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the southern U.S. border is spilling into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Hope Lewis Inmate's widow wants $750,000 from Northumberland County

    SUNBURY — The widow of a Shamokin man who hanged himself inside Northumberland County Prison is demanding $750,000, the firing of all jail employees who worked the night of June 16 and a complete overhaul of policies and procedures for suicidal inmates.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vancliff Lifer gets more time for molesting Danville girls

    WILKES-BARRE — A convicted murderer accused of having persuaded a former Danville woman to bring two girls to visit him in a northeastern Pennsylvania prison so he could molest them has been sentenced to additional prison time and fined.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.