Serial cereal eaters Boxx it out

Valentina Martinelli | The Daily Wildcat Valentina Martinelli/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Chris Philips, left, a real estate investor from Oro Valley, focuses on eating two bowels of cereal while Rubin Navarrete, a senior majoring in Spanish, worriedly looks at Tucson resident Revai Hernandez, 25, after she announced difficulty keeping down her second bowl of cereal. The Cereal Boxx hosted an annual cereal-eating contest behind their restaurant on Park Avenue on National Cereal Day Sunday.

Twelve UA students participated in a free cereal-eating contest Sunday at the Cereal Boxx.

The contest was held in honor of National Cereal Day. The Cereal Boxx, 943 E. University Blvd., has done several cereal-eating contests before in previous semesters.


The event was open to the public, but was mostly geared toward students, said Terra Schacht, Cereal Boxx owner.

""It's not about endurance, it's about speed,"" Schacht told the first round of contestants.

To win the contest, contestants had to eat two bowls of Cap'n Crunch cereal with fat free milk. The participants who finished with the three fastest times won the contest.

Contestants were ordered not to spill their cereal or milk.

Physiology senior Alfonso Robles won first place with a time of two minutes and 16 seconds. The first prize was a $50 Cereal Boxx gift card. The second prize was a Cereal Boxx T-shirt and third prize was a colossal cereal bar, created by the Cereal Boxx staff.

""I am very happy to have won first place, but I'm feeling sick right now,"" Robles said. ""I had La Salsa for lunch beforehand.""

Contestant and pre-business freshman Danica Koestner was not surprised by Robles' win: ""Alfonso Robles is a resident assistant, so he's good with problem solving strategies.""

Salvador ""Buddy"" Lopez, a master's student in music, won second place with a time of three minutes.

""The Cereal Boxx has been good to me,"" Lopez said.

Chris Philips, a real estate investor, came in third place with a time of three minutes and 25 seconds.

All participants were required to sign a waiver before the contest.

""The waiver is meant to protect (the Cereal Boxx),"" Schacht said. ""You enter at your own risk.""

Fred Nelson, a master's student in music performance, participated in the contest because of his appreciation for cereal and the Cereal Boxx, which he frequents at least once a week.

""I sometimes skip class to come here,"" Nelson said. ""I can eat pretty fast, and it's cool to get free breakfast on a Sunday.""

Nelson also appreciated that the Cereal Boxx is open late and that they deliver.

The Cereal Boxx is open from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. and delivers on Thursdays and Fridays.

""We got lots of requests from students who say they study late and like to eat after they study, and not a lot of other places are open at that time,"" Schacht said.

The Cereal Boxx started the delivery service during finals week of the fall 2009 semester.

""We've gotten a good response so far,"" Schacht said.

The contest, which was held outdoors, lasted half an hour. Participants endured heavy rainfall and wind in the last five minutes.

Contestants used different strategies to pace themselves.

Pre-business freshman Travis Marr drank his cereal milk before digging into his Cap'n Crunch. Lopez chugged his cereal and held the bowl up to his face, causing milk to spill down his chin.

""I'll take whatever free lunch I can get,"" Marr said of the contest.

Koestner reported having cuts on her gums in the aftermath of the contest.

""It was an interesting experience,"" Koestner said. ""I'm glad I did it.""

The Cereal Boxx plans on holding the same contest every year on National Cereal Day.


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