Dave Lax won the watermelon seed spitting contest on Tuesday at the Steele County Fair. Rhonda Koeck took first in ladies' nail driving. Neither score is likely to hold up by the end of the week.

It's not often that the defending champions both appear on the opening day of the fair during the KRFO on-air contests. Both may also be able to blame the weather for performances that may leave them short of defending their titles.

Dave Lax won the watermelon seed spitting with an effort of 23 feet. The winning distance is usually greater than that. Lax had a spit that seemed to surpass that length, but it couldn't be found by the judges on the wet ground where all the rocks look like wet watermelon seeds.

Rhonda Koeck won last year's nail driving with a time under 17 seconds. But the multi-time champion struggled on Tuesday. One nail flew away on an errant strike of the hammer and she won the day with a time of 31.61 seconds. Several contestants claimed the waterlogged board felt hard as they tried to pound in the nails.



Guests for watermelon seed spitting include nonprofit groups Wednesday at 11AM, law enforcement Thursday, school personnel Friday and politicians Saturday. The seed spitting usually takes place at 1:15PM.

Nail driving features Curves of Owatonna on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday fields are full, but a couple of openings remain for Saturday. Stop by the KRFO stage to sign up. The event is scheduled for 5PM each day.

Both events are held at the KRFO stage, which is between the Four Seasons Centre and the 4-H building.

Dave Lax won the opening day of the watermelon seed spitting contest. He spoke with Seed Spitting Chief John Conner after the victory. Roy Koenig, Townsquare Media