The biggest day of the Jackson Hole District Cub Scouting year came Saturday with the Pinewood Derby at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on East Broadway.

Packs 66, 67, 68, and 268 all sent their Cubs.

Pack 67’s Mason Ayling had the fastest car of the day, placing first with a scaled speed of 188.1 mph.

Rigdon Hammond was close behind at 187.6 mph.

Rounding out the top five were Burke Adams in third (186.3 mph), Henry Yetter in fourth (186.2 mph) and Bill Robinson in fifth (186.2 mph).

Burke Adams, a Wolf from Pack 268, hedged his bets before competing.

“I hope I win the races, and, if not, I hope someone else will,” Adams said.

He went on to place first in 268’s preliminary rounds and third in speed in district competition.

“The Pinewood Derby is the best Cub Scout activity of the year,” said Nancy Ninnemann, a member of the Boy Scouts of America district committee.

Along with her husband, Tom, she has been involved in Scouting for 40 years.

Debbie Hansen has been a Pack 66 and 68 Cub leader for eight years.

“I love the Cubs’ smiles and enthusiasm, and I look forward to the Pinewood Derby every year,” she said.

Starting in 2018 the Scouts made the change to coed, allowing girls to participate in activities such as the Pinewood Derby.

Two girls, Julia Harrison and Isabela Almanza, both Tigers from Pack 67, attended this year’s Derby. They each kept up with their older brothers in competition.

“I loved to race with my brother,” Julia said.

But, she said, “my favorite part of being a Cub Scout is going camping.”

Brayden Bayleygale’s military amphibious landing craft took first place in design. He’s with Pack 67.

Julian Almanza notched second, narrowly beating out his sister Isabella, who placed third.

Henry Harrison placed fourth, and Pack 66’s lone competitor, Easton Burcham, rounded out fifth.

The top three competitors in both speed and design received antler trophies crafted by Gaylen Merrell.

A recent graduate from Cub Scout to Boy Scout, Eli Olais, participated in the flag ceremony to begin 268’s races.

Looking back on his previous experiences racing, he said, “Everyone was friendly, but that didn’t keep us from being competitive. It was a mix of fun and competition.

“Now I can just come and watch and remember how long it’s been. I designed my cars with my dad and still have my trophies and awards.”

The Pinewood Derby is a Jackson tradition that has been led by Jackson District Committee Chairman Cliff Kirkpatrick since 1988.

Marc Speth designed the computerized track system.

Contact Josh Hansen via 732-7071, or @JHNGeditor on Twitter.

Johanna Love steers the newsroom as editor. Her time off is occupied by kid, dog, biking, camping and art. She loves to hear from readers with story tips, kudos, criticism and questions.

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