Hop to it

Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat

A "Boot Scootin' Croaker" didn't mind a little rain Tuesday in helping the Calaveras County Assessor's Office maintain its iron grip on the annual Government Center Frog Jump trophy.

The annual event pits county employees in friendly competition against one another, with a spot in the world championships of frog jumping on the line.

The finals take place on the final day of the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee - coming up this year on Sunday, May 19.

Lindy Winkler from the Assessor's Office jockeyed her frog with the country-line-dance-inspired moniker to a triple-jump measure of 13 feet, 9 inches to claim top honors.

Winkler said she had to shake off a bit of rust to edge out her co-worker and defending champion Adriane Parris, who finished second with a frog called "Totally Awesome."

"Not since I was probably 5," had she jumped a frog, Winkler said, and she credited Parris' know-how and team-mindedness for her win.

"There's a secret pond that (Parris) knows of," Winkler said. "She got our frogs."

Marcia Thompson, with the county library, finished third with a leap of 11 feet, 3 inches, by "Icky Sticky."

The jumps were shorter this year than the last, as Winkler's winner would have finished nearly 4 feet short of Parris' 2012 champ.

Blame it on the rain, said fair CEO Laurie Giannini, on hand for Tuesday's festivities.

"Between this cold weather and this high grass, they get cozy," Giannini said.

Each of the three county supervisors elected to their first term in November got into the action. Chris Wright, of Rail Road Flat, representing District 2, bested his fellow freshmen, with "Fred" jumping 8 feet, 6 inches. District 4 Supervisor Debbie Ponte, a former Angels Camp mayor, got "Gemini" to go 5 feet, 11 inches. District 1 Supervisor Cliff Edson's "Red," came up short at 5 feet, 9 inches.

2011 champion Darren Spellman, from Rancho Calaveras in District 5, had offered his colleagues some simple advice.

"I told them to watch YouTube," Spellman said. "That's where I learned."

County administrative officers both incoming and outgoing gave it a go. Interim CAO John Blacklock will hand over the reigns to Lori Norton on May 20, but may need to teach her a thing or two about the county's favorite pastime before he leaves. His "Sayonara" managed 8 feet, 7 inches, but Norton's "Riley" jumped just 6 feet, 11 inches.

The Union Democrat
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