The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

48° Stony Brook, NY
The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Hungry in H-Quad

At the Welcome Back BBQ Hot Dog Eating Contest, a crowd of spectators cheered on a table of frantically eating competitors. “Eat the meat first!”  “Get in there, catch up!” “Come on, it’s not over!”

Thursday’s competition took place over two high-intensity rounds, beginning with seven students. In the first round, only two competitors managed to clean their plates, qualifying them for the finals. Justin Miller and Jeremey Vasquez, both graduate students, then raced to finish five more hot dogs each.

Although both contestants started out strong, Miller soon pulled ahead and held a two-hot dog lead, finishing in less than five minutes. He consumed a total of nine hot dogs in less than a half hour.

Joey Chestnut, the current defending champion of the Nathan’s International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest, holds a record of 68 hot dogs in ten minutes.

Miller, a student of biomedical engineering, had never competed in a hot dog eating contest, but learned quickly from the strategies of those around him, dipping the hot dogs in a glass of water to make them easier to swallow. Other competitors tried more complex methods, sometimes eating the dog and buns separately.

According to Miller, his strategy had been to take bigger bites and chew quickly, but he later adapted to taking smaller bites and swallowing almost immediately. He advises future contestants to follow his example.

Vasquez, a biology student, had competed in other hot dog eating contests. He could only offer one piece of advice.

“Just try not to choke,” Vasquez said.

Miller and Vasquez are good friends and frequently compete for fun in events such as power lifting, strongman competitions and Olympic weightlifting.

The two succeeded in the J&R’s Steakhouse 76-oz Steak Challenge and various hamburger eating challenges. Vasquez recently won the Long Island Scottish Highland Games, where contestants lift and throw rocks, tree trunks and other traditional objects while dressed in kilts.

Several freshmen entered the contest as their first competition at Stony Brook. Jon Freeman, majoring in technical systems management, reported being excited to be part of the community, despite losing the first round with only one hot dog eaten.

Contestants in high-profile hot dog eating contests often go to extreme measures to prepare for competition. In addition to training to expand their stomachs, many eat complex diets and fast before competing. Miller followed no such protocols. Laughing, he reported having eaten a full lunch on campus before the competition.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Statesman

Your donation will support the student journalists of Stony Brook University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Statesman

Comments (0)

All The Statesman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *