Wrestlers Grapple Taco Contest

Isabel Owens, Staff Writer

The wrestling team held its traditional taco-eating contest in the small gym on March 7. with two-time champion Nathaniel Armen opting out of the contest,  Harrison Joy to won with a total of 21 tacos consumed in 30 minutes.

The contest is a chance for wrestlers, who have dieted all season, to celebrate.

“The perception of wrestling teams is that we never let the kids eat all year, so we decided that at the end of the year we were going to have an eating contest to quell some of the myths,” coach BobLaughlin said.

During the season, wrestlers are expected to stay away from starches and consume mainly fruits, vegetables, and protein. Once the season is over, athletes are free to enjoy more variety, and more calories. “It’s nice that you can eat whatever you want; we’re still wrestlers so we’re still going to eat healthy, we can just eat a lot more of it and it’s nice not to have such restrictions,” said Armen.

Laughlin ordered 400 tacos from Moraga’s Jack in the Box.

The contest was sponsored by John Bacon, an Economy Lumber worker. “I spend a lot of money there,” Bacon said.

Wrestlers recieved both tacos and T-shirts from Economy Lumber.

The contest, which has completed it’s 12th year, was born as an idea by 2 wrestlers, Justin Fukiyama and Andrew Barten. “When the season was over they were just sitting around at school talking about how much they could eat now and Justin said, ‘I got an idea, let’s go to Jack in the Box and see who can eat the most tacos’,” said Laughlin.

Laughlin has continued the tradition because “the kids look forward to it every year.”

The contest used to be held in the quad, so spectators could view the competition, according to Laughlin.

Armen has participated in the contest since his freshman year. Armen’s former experiences, while victorious, have been, in his words, “worst thing ever.”

He chose not to participate in the contest this year. “I ate one and that’s all. I wasn’t really feeling it. I didn’t really care. It’s not worth feeling awful, the after effect is just terrible,” he said.

According to Armen, the tacos taste like cat food. Armen said the tacos are processed cheese, grease, tofu, and vegan meat. There is no actual meat in the tacos. He added that every taco is different, and in particular he finds the soggy tacos to be “disgusting.” Armen wishes that the tacos could be “nice homemade tacos” instead of tacos from Jack in the Box.

Armen predicted Joy would win the contest.

“I’m a little dissapointed I didn’t break the record,” Joy said, referring to Tim Mars’ record of 27 tacos in 30 minutes. Joy had hoped to eat 30.

According to Laughlin, students often feel sick after the competition. “There’s a lot of things flying out after class,” he said.

Joy agreed. “I feel like I’m going to puke,” he admitted.