Widow Takes Wings, Krystal Kick Off

Sonya Thomas topped a field of 16 eaters in Buffalo, NY, on Sunday, September 5, to win the U.S. Chicken Wing-Eating Championship before a crowd of 10,000 at the National Buffalo Wing Festival.

Thomas consumed 161 wings (5.09 pounds of chicken wing meat) in 12 minutes to set a new world record. In second was former wing champion Oleg Zhornitskiy, and in third Badlands Booker, who wowed the crowd with his eating and rapping.

In a tie for fourth, Cookie Jarvis and rookie Tim Janus, whose break-out performance shocked the competitive eating community.

Thomas then made her way to Chattanooga, TN, on Labor Day proper for the first in a series of 11 Krystal hamburger eating contests. Thomas consumed 42 Krystals in eight minutes to beat Atlanta native Dale Boone and win the Krystal Square Off. Boone ate 25 Krystals, topping Chatty resident Matthew S.L. Cate, who ate 22 to place third. Tony Schrum consumed 21 for fourth place.

The event, which featured 16 eaters from throughout the southeast, took place under a beautiful blue sky prior to a Lookouts baseball game. The crowd of 7,000 was evenly split in their allegiance between the local hero, Boone, and the national eating phenom, Thomas.

The event was co-sponsored by Flowers Foods and the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.