A 10-year-old Chetek boy is headed to Mitchell, S.D., to compete in a national pedal pull competition on Saturday, Sept. 22.
Riley Johnson placed in the top three pullers in Ladysmith on Saturday, Sept. 15, winning him a place to compete at nationals. If he again pulls in the top three, he can head to international competition against pullers from Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
His mother, Sarah Johnson, said Riley has been pulling since he was three. His younger sister, Summer, went to nationals in 2016. Her children, and their cousins—12 all told—all compete in pedal pulls around the area. Summer made it to state again, but didn’t make it to nationals.
Last Saturday, Riley pulled the 700-pound sled 32 feet. He was tied for third place against another boy. They pulled again, with the boy and Riley pulling 32 feet and 32 feet and three-quarters, respectively. Riley beat him by 9 inches.
“It was a nail-biter,” Sarah said.
Riley will head to South Dakota with his grandfather, she said. He’s ready for his turn at nationals, she added.
“He is very excited,” Johnson said.
Riley will be pulling at 1 p.m. on Saturday, at the Mitchell Corn Palace.