In what might have been the last competitive event held in Pahrump before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports, Dennis Andersen and Mike Norton of Pahrump won first place in the Silver State Chili Cook-Off Horseshoes Tournament on March 14 at Petrack Park.
Joe Kalache and Randy Salzwimmer finished in second place, while Lathan Dilger and Jim Hatch took third.
Nevada State Horseshoe Pitching Association President Lathan Dilger said the tournament was a success despite few people traveling.
“We had 16 players, eight teams, and only two people from out of town,” Dilger said. “We had no one from Kingman, Bullhead, Boulder City or Henderson. I could have had 25 people, but it’s growing.”
The competition was close. Andersen and Norton went 6-1 to sit alone in first place after the round-robin, losing only to Dan Dunn and Chuck Smith, but their total of 165 points was well behind the three teams which tied for second. Close wins carried the day, as the winners defeated Lathan Dilger and Hatch 33-31 and Kalache and Salzwimmer 34-31.
Those two teams wound up tied for second with Kasey Dilger and Willy Zulogathers, who had a chance to win the tournament going into the final round. They were 5-1 and faced Lathan Dilger and Hatch, who were 4-2, in their last game. A win would have vaulted Kasey Dilger and Zulogathers into first place, winning the total points tiebreaker over Andersen and Norton, but instead Lathan Dilger and Hatch recorded a 33-28 win to forge the three-way tie at 5-2.
Lathan Dilger and Hatch edged Kasey Dilger and Zulogathers by a single point to claim third.
The horseshoe pitchers had their own chili cook-off, which was won by Andersen.
“Everyone had a blast, and all of the different chili was excellent,” Dilger said.
While Dilger said participation in horseshoes tournaments was growing, so were sponsorships. Dilger cited Gunny’s Air Conditioning and Heating for providing the trophies and also thanked Dr. Michael Taylor at Affiliated Chiropractic and Danny and Dawn Murphy at Full Throttle Excavation for adding $100 each to the prize pool, as did Dilger himself at Pahrump Valley Storage.
With the added money in the purse, Andersen and Norton shared $260 for finishing first, Kalache and Salzwimmer won $160 for second place and Lathan Dilger and Hatch split $100 for third. Andersen pocketed $50 for winning the chili cook-off, and raffle winner Todd LaCore also took home $50.
Like everything else, the horseshoes season is on hold, with the March 21 Pahrump Spring Open already lost. The next tournament scheduled to be held in Pahrump is the Best of the West on May 9.