weather icon Clear

Historic backdrop for Nevada mining championships

Updated June 14, 2018 - 1:19 pm

Jim Butler Days in Tonopah at the end of May brought out a long list of competitors that battled to be the champion for the 2018 Nevada State Mining Championships.

Bob Perchetti, owner of the Clown Motel, was the announcer at the event.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt made an appearance at the event and handed out prizes to some of the top winners. Laxalt is running in the primary races for Nevada governor.

Competitors from all over the western United States and beyond come out for the challenge at the Tonopah Historic Mining Park. Entrants race to shovel hundreds of pounds of dirt the fastest and hand drill deeper than their fellow contestants.

Joni Eastley, who organizes the annual competition, said entrants in the contest have come from as far away as Australia.

The first round of competitions was in mucking, where competitors shovel one ton (a half ton for the women’s competitions) of muck into an ore cart. Entrants face off for hundreds of dollars in prizes and a silver shovel goes to the top winner.

This year, James Eason took the top spot in the men’s mucking competition, his fifth consecutive year of taking the title. Eason’s time was 2:26.96, and he collected $400 in prize money.

Craig Leedy took second (2:42.78) in men’s mucking and collected $200 with Matt Decker collecting $100 for third (3:04.28).

The mining championships have gone on for a century or more, according to information on the mining park’s website.

This is the 48th year the competition has been held on Memorial Day weekend during Jim Butler Days.

In the 2018 event, men’s team mucking also had a silver shovel for the top winner, with cash prizes paid to the top three slots.

The top winner in men’s team mucking was Steve MacDonald and Matt Decker at 1:01.27 for $200.

The second prize, $100, was awarded to Tom Donovan and Craig Leedy (1:09.37) and a third prize of $50 went to Tim Leedy and Kelsey Godfrey (1:13.96).

The women’s mucking competition paid three spots, and there were three entrants into that competition. Emma Baker came in first (1:44.36) and collected $200. She was followed by Claire Roberts (2:33.43) for second, collecting $100. Amanda Amar collected $50 for third prize in the women’s competition and had a time of 5:10.01.

Other top winners

Women’s team mucking had a prize pool of $185 for three spots.

Top winning teams, in descending order, were Emma Baker and Bev Roberts, followed by Claire Roberts and Jo Denham and Kristi Ries and Bonnie Walker.

The winner of the men’s single jack competition went to Tom Donovan. Contestants hand drill for 10 minutes, and the deepest hole wins.

Donovan was trailed by Matt Decker, who came in second, and Craig Leedy, who came in third. Fourth place was shared by Steve MacDonald and Vern Baker.

The men’s double jack competition had a first-place team of Craig Leedy and Tom Donovan.

The second-place team was Kaleb Denham and Tim Leedy with third place going to Austin Lemons and Brandon Eason.

The women’s single jack competition had a top winner of Emma Baker.

The second-place winner was Claire Roberts with third place going to Jo Denham.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Sisolak plans for special legislative session July 8

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Wednesday that he is planning to begin a special legislative session to address the state’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget on Wednesday, July 8. The planned date of the session was determined after coordinating with legislative leadership.

GBC’s accreditation visit scheduled for September

Great Basin College will receive a site visit from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities in September as part of the regular cycle for reaffirmation of accreditation.

Business counseling this week’s Extension topic

With small businesses reopening and needing to adjust their operations amid COVID-19 restrictions and economic challenges, University of Nevada, Reno Extension is teaming up with the Nevada Small Business Development Center to offer an online town hall this week, “The Nevada SBDC and Business Counseling.”

Gaming in Mountain Falls community draws pushback

A neighborhood park in the community of Mountain Falls was the setting for a discussion on whether gaming machines would benefit the Mountain Falls Grill Room, and the community at-large on Wednesday, June 24th.

Nevada leads nation in COVID-19 transmission

Nevada leads the nation in a recent statistic: the number of people who become infected with the coronavirus by an infectious person.

First Responders Appreciation Picnic to include free food and plenty of gratitude

With so much anger and vitriol being directed toward law enforcement over the past few weeks and calls to have police disbanded altogether, Pahrump area citizens are stepping forward to show that here in the valley, residents still support their first responders.

NHP to beef up speed patrols through July 12

One-third of fatal crashes nationwide involve speeding, a statistic that is prompting local law enforcement to crack down on aggressive drivers and speeders in Nevada.

Pahrump salon reopens after COVID-19 shutdown

As restrictions on businesses continue to ease, one local salon owner says her business is thriving after reopening.