MITCHELL, S.D. — Mount Vernon 4-year-old Anthony Mitchell brought home some hardware from Mitchell, S.D., earning second in the National Pedal Pull Association pedal tractor pull Oct. 22 in his age division.
Mitchell’s first pull came at the USA Days in Centerburg over the summer, where he took first. His finish earned him a voucher to compete at the state pull in Croton, where he finished second. Continuing his solid run, the state runner-up slot earned Mitchell a spot at the national pull in South Dakota.
The trip to South Dakota, which was just around 1,000 miles, was not always guaranteed. Mitchell’s grandpa, Kenny Berg, was important in making sure the trip happened.
“I finally got everybody convinced and he wanted to do it so I made the reservations and we drove out to Mitchell,” Berg said.
Berg, his wife Kathy, and Mitchell loaded in to the car and headed toward Mitchell. The pull was held at the Corn Palace and drew more than 400 competitors and their families. In the boys’ 4-year-old division, Mitchell posted a distance of 29 feet, 4 inches. His pull was stopped because of technicality. One of his feet slipped off the pedal, and there is a rule that both hands must remain on the wheel, both feet on the pedals and behind in the seat. With the slipped foot, his distance was stopped immediately.
“He did what he was supposed to do and he is serious about it,” Berg said. “It was a big deal. I was impressed. It was a lot bigger deal than I anticipated.”
Kase Hawkins, from Missouri, won Mitchell’s division with a pull of 29 feet, 7 inches.
Following the pull and awards, Mitchell and his grandparents continued westward, turning the trip into a site-seeing endeavor. They visited the Badlands and Mount Rushmore, both in South Dakota, before returning home, with a stop at Wall, S.D. on the way back.
The results for Mitchell’s pulling speak for themselves, taking first or second in the only three pulls he has competed in. Those successes have translated to Mitchell when he is off the pulling tractor.
“He gets up and wants to get on the big tractor,” Berg said with a laugh. “He thinks he is a big shot because he can drive the little tractor.”
At the National Pedal Tractor Pull, there were pullers up to 12 years old. As a 4-year-old, Mitchell still has plenty of pulls he can compete in.
“I’m just proud of this little boy,” Berg said. “He takes it serious. As long as he wants to keep doing it, I’ll keep taking him as long as I’m able.”