Pratt hosted the Kanza Cub Scout District pinewood car derby April 6 and children from 1st-5th grades were happy to participate.
Hours of sanding, painting and design were put to the test Saturday when Cub Scouts from the Kanza District converged in Pratt to race their pinewood cars against district competition at the Municipal Building.
"We had more than 90 registered, and 51 cars went down the tracks," said Gene Messick, Pratt Cub Master. "This was a usual turnout for a district race."
The Kanza District includes Cub Scouts from Hoisington, Pratt, Great Bend, Larned, Ellinwood, Medicine Lodge, St.John, Stafford Greensburg, Lewis and Kinsley. Pratt has been the host site for the district race for two years when the event was moved from St. John.
"We have a bigger facility here where families can come and enjoy the races and the kids can run and play along the edges and don't have to sit still all day," Messick said.
Rules for the pinewood car derby require cars to be 7 inches long and not weigh more than 5 ounces, among other things, but there is no limit to creativity beyond that.
"I call my car a Lamborghini and I painted it orange," said Titus Oller, 7, of Pratt. "I just knew we wanted it to be fast and skinny."
Oller's car proved to be faster than most as he ended up second in his Tiger division and then 11th overall, earning a medal.
"That was really a big deal for him," his mom, Britt Oller said.
Titus Oller said his dad (Randy Oller) helped him when they first started getting ready for the pinewood car derby.
"We just got a block of wood and some wheels," he said. "I wanted to make it look like a British taxi with teeth, but we decided an orange Lamborghini would be faster."
Oller said he helped with the sanding, painting and putting on wheels. He even made a second car, but it didn't turn out to be as fast as his orange car.
"My gold car, I'm calling that one Skull Crawler, like off the King Kong movie," he said. "I really like the color of that one."
Oller's fellow Cub Scout friend Jaiden Callahan, 7, from Pratt, said his blue and yellow car, named Lightning Rain, didn't win anything Saturday.
"That's okay though," he said. "I just love hanging out here and playing around with my friends."
Groups of children ran and slid around on the gym floor behind rows of chairs set up along both sides and the end of a 42-foot aluminum track. Parents, grandparents, other family members and friends supporting their cub scouts watched and waited as each car raced four times, gathering computerized data that was tabulated at the end of the age divisions and averaged for time winners. The grand finale was then a showcase of the top five timed cars in each division.
"We have Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Bears, Webeloes 1 and Weebeloes 2 here today," Messick said. "This is kids in grades 1-5 from all over the district."
The Pratt group had their own club race in February with more than 40 entries.
"The kids had to wait a long time to play with their cars again," Messick said. "After today they will get to take them home."
The top ten overall winners from Saturday's district race were: 1) Jesse T. - Hoisington, 2) Tristan K. - Ellinwood, 3) Carver S. - Kinsley, 4) Adler N. - Pratt, 5) Noah R. - Great Bend, 6) Josephine M. - Pratt, 7) William M. - St. John, 8) Cadyn F.- Kinsley, 9) Cadence M. - Pratt, 10) Carter S. - Hoisington.
The aluminum 4-lane track with computerized timers was provided by Ted Loomis, Pratt businessman.