SOURCE: La Costeña

La Costeña

May 03, 2011 13:12 ET

Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti Triumphs With Fourth Win at Fifth Annual La Costena Jalapeno Eating Championship Challenge

SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwire - May 3, 2011) - Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti claimed victory for the fourth time at the fifth annual La Costeña "Feel the Heat" Jalapeño Eating Championship Challenge. Bertoletti, currently the second world ranked competitive eater in the sanctioned sport of Major League Eating (MLE), ate 275 whole jalapeños in eight minutes. The fifth annual challenge was a highly anticipated rematch between the reigning champ and his fiery arch nemesis: five-foot-tall, 100-pound Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas. Thomas is the only other competitive eater, besides Bertoletti, who has won La Costeña's grueling competition.

Stems were removed from the jalapeños this year for the first time in the history of the eight minute contest. Bertoletti benefitted from this update and ended up shattering his 2010 record of 225 jalapeños to his current 2011 record of 275 jalapeños. "My goal coming in today was just to dominate and beat the record. That's what I came here to do," said champion Bertoletti. "It was a great day. The jalapeños were fast. La Costeña always makes delicious jalapeños and that makes it easier."

Thomas placed second by consuming 224 jalapeños, Eric "The Red" Denmark placed third by eating 121 jalapeños, and San Antonio local Alexander Hernandez ranked fourth, having eaten 113 jalapeños.

"During the past five years, La Costeña's 'Feel the Heat' Jalapeño Eating Championship Challenge has ignited one of the most dramatic rivalries in competitive eating and organized sport between Pat and Sonya. When they clash in this competition, they push themselves and each other to a higher level of performance," said George Shea, chairman of MLE. "Appropriately we witnessed that today at the fifth annual challenge."

To continually recognize both the skill and perseverance required to be among the top four competitors in the challenge, La Costeña had increased the event's prize offering for 2011 to a $6,250 cash purse. The champion was awarded $3,000, while the second- through fourth-place finishers were awarded $2,000, $750 and $500, respectively.

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