A noisy start to the Shenandoah County Fair

Olivia Gochenour, of Woodstock, competes in the Young Farmer Tractor Pull event at the Shenandoah County Fair on Saturday. She took first place in the 18,000-pound, the 15,500-pound turbo and the 12,500-pound turbo events. Donald Lambert/Daily

WOODSTOCK  –  The Shenandoah County Fair roared to life on Saturday afternoon with the Young Farmer Tractor Pull.

The annual event sees pullers from around Shenandoah County duking it out to see how far their machines can carry a weighted sled. Over 30 people took part in the event this year, but one person made the biggest splash.

Olivia Gochenour, of Woodstock, took first place in the 18,000-pound, the 15,500-pound turbo and the 12,500-pound turbo events. Gochenour, who has been participating in tractor pulls since 2014, was modest in victory.

“It’s more about having a good pull,” Gochenour said. “Winning is a plus.”

Nathaniel Dirting, of Edinburg, took second in the 18,000-pound event, while Woodstock’s Jeremy Kibler finished in third place. Kibler took second place in the 15,000-pound event, while Dirting finished in third place. Mike Dirting, of Edinburg,  placed second in the 12,500-pound turbo pull, while Maurertown’s Michael Brill finished third.

In the 12,500-pound non-turbo event, Trey Pifer, of Edinburg, took first place, while Kelly Miller, of Strasburg, and John Robert Helsley, of Edinburg, finished second and third respectively. In the 9,500-pound event, Woodstock’s Jeff Herring finished first and third respectively after running two different tractors in the event. Allen Mumaw, of Edinburg, finished second.

For Herring, who has been doing tractor pulls for nearly four decades and one of the few people who use foreign-made tractors in competition, tractor pull competitions are a bit more than just the trophy and the check that the winners get.

“We do this for fun, but it’s really about the bragging rights,” Herring said. “We see each other at other competitions and, when you win, you like to brag about it.”

Christen Beahm, of Edinburg, took the top spot in the 9,500-pound turbo event, while Mike and Tyler Dellinger, of Edinburg, finished second and third respectively. Beahm, who is in her second year of competition, revealed who got her into competing in tractor pulls.

“My boyfriend originally got me into it,” Beahm said. “A few days before the fair, I started, and then I entered the pull last year and finished second. I love doing it.”

Keith Tisinger, of Mount Jackson, won both the 7,500-pound and the 5,500-pound events. Tyler Dellinger took second in the 7,500-pound pull, while Junior Kibler, of Toms Brook, finished third. Mark Tanis, of Edinburg, finished second and third respectively in the 5,500-pound event after entering two different tractors.

Even though he didn’t win the event, Junior Kibler said that the tractor pull events are more than just winning.

“They’re fun and competitive,” Kibler said. “They make people enjoy tractor pulls at the fair.”

The fair is open daily through Saturday.

Correction: The story has been corrected to reflect the correct spellings of Mike and Tyler Dellinger.