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Published: Tuesday, 7/24/2012

Young competitor has lots of pull

Waterville tractor pedaler heads for state contest

Lucas Bredberg, 4, won first place in the Lucas County Fair's pedal tractor pull competition. He is to vie for the state championship in Bucyrus on Aug. 25. Lucas Bredberg, 4, won first place in the Lucas County Fair's pedal tractor pull competition. He is to vie for the state championship in Bucyrus on Aug. 25.
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Four-year-old Lucas Bredberg wasn't such a fierce competitor.

Lucas, with his angelic face and blond hair, noticed the second-place finisher looking sad after he snagged a first-place trophy in the Lucas County pedal tractor pull competition.

"I said something to cheer him up," Lucas said.

Though whatever it was, "I forgot already," he said happily, a few days afterward.

The boys' parents tried to arrange a play date to reconcile.

That's what happens when preschoolers compete at the fair.

A pedal tractor pull is the mini version of the fan-favorite tractor pull at a county fair.

Instead of driving a tractor on a big track, the youngsters pedal a pint-sized toy tractor.

They pull a sled that weighs 65 pounds, which is often heavier than the children themselves.

"It was not very hard," said Lucas, who has shuffled around the dining room table on a toy tractor since he was barely old enough to walk.

"I could pedal forever."

Lucas is the third generation in his family to discover the fair, following behind his father and grandfather, who showed cows and pigs in county fairs in Minnesota.

Visits to his grandfather's farm in southern Minnesota brought out a love of combines, tractors, and other heavy farm equipment.

"Fair is very big in our family," said Lucas' father, Dan Bredberg, a pastor at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waterville.

The rest of the Bredberg family consists of Lucas' mother, Jessica, a stay-at-home mom, and Lucas' siblings Isaiah, 3, and Karis, 1.

Lucas will next compete at the state championship at the Crawford County fairgrounds in Bucyrus on Aug. 25, a few days after his 5th birthday.

More than 100 children, ages 4 to 11, are expected to show up, said Gary Daiber, owner of the Buckeye State Sanctioned Pedal Tractor Pullers.

"They love it," Mr. Daiber said.

State winners will compete in a national meet in Mitchell, S.D., on Sept. 22.

Lucas clearly adores tractors.

The family's living room in Waterville is turned into his play room with his toy barn and mini John Deere tractors.

Even his T-shirt, which says "Dirt Magnet," has a tractor on it.

So naturally, Lucas said he hopes to become a farmer when he grows up.

The energetic child is fascinated by life -- not just the tractors but also hummingbirds that fly by the living room window and the bugs that were out after a recent rain.

"I like twickets," said Lucas after he scooped up a large black cricket hiding under a plastic play toy outside. "I want him to be mine."

He paused, once the cricket was trapped inside a glass jar.

"When do the worms come out?" he asked his father.

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