DeBelak Wins 2020 Footstock Open Title
Crandon, Wisconsin – John Debelak secured his barefoot ironman status sweeping both the 2020 Senior and Open Division National Championships at Footstock this past weekend after knocking off Paul Stokes of Madison. Stokes who was runner-up last year and has placed second a total of four times in Crandon, came up just short once again, lasting over 3 figure eights before crashing on Sunday’s final run.
Saturday, Peshtigo Lake, despite the weather being relatively calm, didn’t see a single figure eight completed until the 200th run of the day. And when it finally did, it was a dandy. As Jon DeBelak and Marc Donahue, battling for the Senior National Championship, cover 3-1/2 figure eights. Making it one of the ten longest runs in history. But DeBelak prevailed over his long-time training partner from Indiana.
On Sunday, however, the average length of runs was a different story altogether. Open favorites Keith St. Onge (Florida), Pete Fleck, Kyle Rau, Brad Pylman and Greg Fatla all cranked out consistently long runs, but ultimately came up short, while US Barefoot Team Member and former Junior National Champ, Brody “Bam” Meskers showed he’ll be a force to be reckoned with for years, placing third. But in the end, the Open Division battle came down to former US Team barefooter, Paul Stokes. And former National Open Endurance Champ, Jon DeBelak. After three eights, Stokes succumbed to the waves making Debelak a two-time Open Champion.
Over 150 barefooters competed in the grueling, two-day championship in which over 330 runs were pulled. Over $,6000 in prize money was handed out to the winners.
On the women’s side of the Championship, 13-year old Sophie Miljevic continued her dominance over the field besting Amanda Krzewina. Sophie didn’t stop there though, as she nearly pulled off winning the Junior title too. Something no women’s champ has done since Elaine Heller did it over a decade ago.
In the end she lost a hard-fought battle against last year’s Junior Champ Cale Ducane.
And in the Master’s Division, Footstock legend, Mike Netzer (Wisconsin) outlasted Mike Rotar and Joe Heilman to win his second Master’s title.