Finest Swimmers on Display
By ROB YORK
P-I Staff Writer
CATFISH RACES ~ WORLD'S BIGGEST FISH FRY ~ 2004
|An old adage states "Slow and steady
wins the race."
While "slow" may not be the best way to describe him, omeN, Son of Andrew Lloyd Catfish, was certainly the steadiest performer Saturday in the 17th annual Fish Fry Catfish Races on the court square.
As the clock struck noon and all but three of Kentucky Lake's greatest athletes had been eliminated, omeN outran, er, out swam both Austin Whelan's Ol' Whiskers and Susan Jones' Miss Vicki to take the title.
Miss Vicki appeared invincible in her first two rounds, winning in the first heat in record time after taunting her opposition with a warm-up lap through the blue lane, sending a message that this year's races were hers to win.
However, whether the cause was stage fright, fatigue, or a reoccurring ventral fin injury from high school, Miss Vicki faltered in the final heat, allowing the second generation of Lloyd Catfish to walk, er, swim away with the title.
After the race, Ol' Whiskers called omeN a "gritty competitor with a lot of heart."
A dispirited Miss Vicki skipped her post race press conference.
The victory capped an improbable run for omeN, who was a denizen of a frozen food bin in Wal-Mart earlier this year.
He was rescued by his sponsor, Gene Gulish, once the good doctor discovered that omeN was a spawn of his good friend, celebrated stuntman and actor Andrew Lloyd Catfish.
With his Saturday victory omeN accomplished what his father failed to do in 2002 and 2003. The son of Andrew Lloyd won his sponsors a gift certificate to Jannah's Restaurant
The races began at 11:00 a.m., but the nearly 200 spectators started showing up an hour earlier to cheer on their finned friends.
Michael McClain guaranteed himself a fish in the later rounds when he sponsored five scaly sprinters.
His James Band fish used techniques practiced through years of underwater espionage to defeat Donnie, Satellite Sam, Murray and Pearly White.
Although James Band was outduled in the next round by Ol' Whiskers, McClains adoption of five finned proteges helped earn him another award.
This, plus the banner he hung in front of his orthodontics office and the T-shirts that his entourage wore, bearing the names of his catfish all were factors contributing to his earning the Best Spirit award.
McClain won a plaque and dinner at El Vaquero.
The Best Tall Tale went to the Quota Club, which won a trophy and a model car donated by Smokey's Doghouse.
The Best Fish Name award went to Gill Earnhardt, sponsored by Jim's Discount Pharmacy, who won a plaque and two catfish dinners at Tom's Pizza and Steakhouse, much to the chargrin of Gill.
Each heat winner won their choice of a gift certificate to local restaurants.
About $1800.00 was raised for the Henry County Literacy Council.
Other semifinalists and their sponsors were as follows: Kentucky Lake Jake, Mike and Mark Chandler; Diamond, Plumley Division of Dana Corporation; Stretch, Donna and Lee Winders; Catfish Joe, Joe Snow; Mussle, Debbie Elliot's fifth grade class, Paris Elementary School; Post 45, AMVETS Post 45; No Name, Joe and Shirley Casey; Oscar, Luke Williamson; Bitsy Cat, Mayer Grocery; Mary Popins, Mike and Cindy Snyder; Kentucky Blue, Jessica Stevens.
Catfish Races emcee and Post-Intelligencer editor emeritus Bill Williams (right) presents the award for the best tall tale to Quota Club members Jane Sinnema (left) and Karen Geary for the club's story about Kat Fisherman.
Alexis Daniels cradels her latest catch at the Junior Fishing Rodeo. Alexis, 3, enjoyed an afternoon of fishing with her 6-year-old sister, Brooke Daniels, and her parents, Steve and Pam Daniels of Buchanan.
Reprinted from The PARIS
April 26, 2004 Edition
Used by Permission
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