Cherry pit spitters to pucker up

Published 8:13 pm Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brian “Young Gun” Krause set a world record cherry pit spit in 2003 with 93 feet and 6.5 inches. File photo

The Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm, 9351 East Eureka Rd., Eau Claire will be hosting the 38th International Cherry Pit Spit Saturday, July 2. The Pit Spit will mark the beginning of the southwest Michigan tart cherry harvest.

The Cherry Pit Spit began in 1974, when cherry grower and Tree-Mendus Farm owner Herb Teichman was looking for “something to do” with cherry pits. After beginning as a neighborhood get-together, the Cherry Pit Spit has grown into a truly international competition. The Guinness Book of World Records has recognized the International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship as an official competition. And, as Teichman himself has been known to say, “Cherry Pit spitting is a nutritious sport. It’s the most entertaining way to dispose of the pit after you’ve eaten the cherry.”

The nutritional value of the cherry — high in potassium and other natural minerals, low in salt and totally fat free — gives pit spitting an added health edge. The Pit Spit’s persistent popularity is “a global demonstration that healthy eating, deep breathing and physical exercise can be accomplished simultaneously, in public, with only a minimal loss of dignity,” Teichman says. “Actually, cherry pit spitting is like a good sneeze — they’re both therapeutic.”

Activities will begin at 10 a.m. with the qualifying rounds, followed by a luncheon (by invitation) at noon. The dignitaries’ competition will begin at 1 p.m. and the youth competitions will proceed at 1:30 p.m. At 1:45 p.m. the women’s competition will take place. The championship spit-off will be held at 2 p.m.

The qualification round is open to anyone of any age. The top spitters in each category, including past champions, compete for fame and honor. The contestant who spits the cherry pit the farthest wins.

The current International Champion and Guinness World Record holder is Brian “Young Gun” Krause. His distance in the 2010 championship was 40 feet and 2.5 inches. His world record distance, set in 2003, is 93 feet and 6.5 inches. Krause, seven-time international champion, is the son of 16-time champion Rick “Pellet Gun” Krause. After his first victory he took his place as a part of a three-generation dynasty of Pit Spit champions.

Second place of the 2010 championship was awarded to Randy Luthringer of Niles with a spit of 40 feet and 1 inch.

For more information, visit or call Nancy at (269) 782-7101.