Hart takes a bite out of 2018 SCV Burrito Bowl with win

The winners of the 2018 Burrito Bowl, the Hart Indians, pose with a check for $2,000 from the WiSH Foundation Tuesday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

The ninth annual SCV Burrito Bowl took place Tuesday evening outside the Valencia Westfield Town Center, with a couple of new records in the books.

A crowd of over 1,000 enthused parents and students watched as Hart beat the defending champions Saugus with a record time of one minute, 26 seconds, breaking last year’s record of 1:31.

Saugus clocked in at 1:29, also breaking their record from last season, but finished three seconds shy of repeating as champions.

“It’s disappointing because we smashed our record from last year,” said Saugus center Nathan Tripp, who participated in his third Burrito Bowl competition. “I didn’t even see Hart eat the burrito, but I had a couple people telling me their unofficial time. We were that close and just missed it.”

Tripp said his team practiced before the competition, with one of the players’ mothers making burritos for the team after football practice last week.

Saugus even planned a strategy to eat the four-foot long burrito in the most efficient way possible.

“We had our best eater on the far left side so we could just eat anything that came down,” Tripp said. “We would take a bite that fills most of our mouth and just chug water and swallow, barely any chewing.”

Other teams didn’t feel the need to practice, instead relying on their appetite.

“I’ve been practicing since I was born. Look at me, I’ve eaten a couple of burritos in my lifetime,” said Jacob Lopez, who plays offensive and defensive line for Canyon. “It’s a mental game, it doesn’t matter about the taste, you’re breathing in beans and rice.”

Lopez and his Canyon teammates finished in third place, clocking a time of 1:40.

Darnell Musgrove, who starts on the offensive and defensive line for Golden Valley, correctly predicted a Hart victory.

“By the looks of it, I say Hart will be the toughest competition, because they have some pretty big dudes,” Musgrove said. “I eat a lot at home though, so I’ll be ready.”

Golden Valley finished fourth with a time of 2:09. Valencia finished fifth with a time of 2:14.

The other record set Tuesday night, the slowest time ever recorded, now belongs to West Ranch with a time of 3:00.

Hart took home a grand prize of $2000 to be used for their football and cheer programs. Each participating team was awarded $500 for their football programs and $500 for their cheer programs.

Another aspect of the competition was the spirit poster award, given to the cheer squad with the most creative poster. Golden Valley was announced as the winner before the eating competition, taking home a prize of $1000.

Mark Walberg, of Antiques Roadshow fame, hosted the event and announced prize giveaways while teams took turns in the eating contest.

Some of the giveaways included Dodgers tickets, dining gift cards and a shopping spree worth $1500.

The SCV Burrito Bowl is the unofficial kickoff of the football season, which begins this Friday.

“I think it brings our community even closer together, especially for the students,” said co-chair Wanda Perry. “They’re able to kick off their new school season and they get excited to wear their new uniforms.”

While most people would feel pretty full after chowing down on a four-foot burrito, linemen are notorious for having big appetites.

“I feel good, it’s all settled,” Tripp said. “Actually, I’m going to go get Chick-fil-A right now.”

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