Hundreds of people stood in the pouring rain to witness history being made in Little Havana yesterday.
The inaugural Calle Ocho croqueta-eating competition, El Croquetazo, was about to begin. Hosted by Major League Eating, the contest drew the nation's top-ranked professionals to Miami.
At stake: a $1,750 purse and the chance to become the reigning croqueta king or queen. According to the event's MC, Sam Barclay, the rules were simple: Eat as many croquetas as possible in eight minutes.
Joey Chestnut, ranked the number one eater in the world, dropped out of the competition at the last minute, opening the field for the other contestants — each a champion in his or her own right.
After eight minutes of grueling chomping, Carmen Cincotti was declared the winner after downing 158 croquetas. The eating champ also set a world record for croqueta eating at the event.
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Cincotti, ranked the number three eater by Major League Eating, recently ate 101 bratwursts in ten minutes at the Linde Oktoberfest in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Geoffrey Esper came in second place after eating 144 croquetas. He's ranked the number five eater in the world.
Eric "Badlands" Booker placed third with 92 croquetas, and Michelle Lesco, the only woman in the competition, ate 90 croquetas. She's ranked the ninth eater, according to Major League Eating.
Despite the rain, the event was deemed a success by Barclay, who hopes to make the croqueta-eating championships an annual Calle Ocho event.