LaRue Takes Lauderdale

There was little if any competition for the great Joe LaRue at the Nathan's Famous qualifier at the Pembroke Lakes Mall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During the opening minutes, newcomer John Koehler kept pace with LaRue, followed by another rookie, Kosol Kim.

However, LaRue remained focused and soon established a lead over the other 14 eaters at the table. While the Florida champion was disapointed with his final tally -- 18 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes -- he said he felt good, ready for a better mark on July 4.