Columbia racers Blake Holmes, Dylan Soper, and Jordan Weltha, all of Columbia, qualified to compete in the Stock, SuperStock, and Masters divisions respectively in the 76th running of the Soap Box Derby Saturday in Akron, Ohio. More than 400 drivers from the United States and several foreign countries made up this year’s field.
Holmes, a first-year racer, narrowly lost to Audrey Witt from Chicago. The overall winner in the Stock division was Macaila Ziolkowski from McKeesport, Penn., southeast of Pittsburgh.
In the Superstock division, Soper was edged out by Jacob Parrish of Tullahoma, Tenn. In the end Bryce Volpe from suburban Cleveland claimed the top spot.
Weltha, who had already won the Mid MO Stock and Superstock divisions in past years, made his third trip to Akron, this time in the Masters division. He lost to Teal Borden from New Hampshire in a close race. Teal later went on to win fourth place overall, losing to Jay Warnick from Washington, D.C.
Top finishers in all race competed for trophies, prizes and a share of $45,000 in scholarship money. The Derby began in Dayton, Ohio, in 1934. The first race held in Columbia was four years later in 1938, sponsored by the Optimist Club.