Armen Tops Taco Eating, Again

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Sophomore Trevor Martinho eats a taco during Wrestling’s end-of-season taco-eating contest.

Sarada Symonds

The 10th annual Wrestling team taco-eating contest ended when junior Nathanial Armen finished eating 23 tacos in 30 minutes. The purpose of the contest is to challenge the misconception that wrestlers have unhealthy eating habits.

The annual contest was held in the small gym at lunch on March 5.

This is Armen’s 2nd year as champion. “I originally wasn’t going to eat a lot, and I was kind of full when I started,” he said.

Armen received support from his teammates. “Most people were huddling around and yelling at me to keep going, and then they started chanting, which I thought was kind of funny, so I kept eating. I already won last year, which motivated me to keep going,” he explained.

Coach Bob McLaughlin said they host the contest “because every year people think wrestlers don’t eat anything, so we do it for fun, to show them they’re wrong.” McLaughlin believes wrestlers also enjoy the event because the tacos are free.

The event was open to all wrestlers. Sophomore Garrett Neustrom said, “It’s fun to see how many you can eat without getting sick and see who can eat the most tacos.”

The contest caps the winter wrestling season. Junior Kurt Vergara said, “I participated because it was a group event and I wanted to be part of the team. During the season we can’t eat a lot of tacos, so it’s great to end the season by getting together and eating a lot.”

Neustrom added, “It’s part of being a wrestler.”

According to Neustrom, some of the wrestlers prepared for the contest by eating a lot the night before, and then eating little on the day of the contest. Vergara said, “I didn’t eat throughout the day, so I was quite hungry when lunch came.”

Vergara ate 17 tacos.

The tacos were from Jack-In-The-Box, and contained tofu instead of meat. Economic Lumber in Orinda, which has supported the team this season, paid for the tacos.

Most students did not like the tacos. Nuestrom said, “They’re pretty gross. That’s why we get Jack-In-The-Box tacos, because they’re pretty disgusting and that makes them harder to eat.”

Vergara described the tacos as tasting “cement-filled” and “spicy.” Armen said, “They’re made with processed cheese, they’re soggy, and they have different things in them. Some have lettuce and others don’t. They’re gross.”