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Sarah Bender’s “Connie” takes first place in turtle races
2022 Turtle Race winners
L to r: Jaxon Haskins, 2nd place winner; Adamson Trotter, holding trophy for 3rd place winner Lexi Dasher; and Sarah Bender, 1st place winner and Largest Turtle Award. Not pictured: Owen Anderson, winner of Smallest Turtle Award.

Sarah Bender's turtle, "Connie," was not only the largest turtle in the 2022 World Champion Turtle Races last Saturday, May 14, but also the fastest. 

"Connie" won the top first place trophy.  Sarah, 13, is the daughter of Martin Bender of Glennville.

Coming in second place was Jaxon Haskins, 11, with his turtle, "Bolt." Jaxon is the son of Jenna Cowart of Glennville.

Placing third was Lexi Dasher's "Big Green."  Lexi, 10, is the daughter of Bejay Dasher of Glennville.

Other heat winners are as follows: "Speed," owned by six-year-old Adamson Trotter, the son of Ricia and Will Trotter of Glennville; "Sporty," owned by Jase Barry, the nine-year-old son of Rob and Lisa Barry of Glennville; and "Lightening," raced by Gia Domenicone, the 11-year-old daughter of Osjha and Michael Domenicone of Alpharetta.

"Dynamite," Owen Anderson's turtle, won the trophy for the smallest turtle. Owen is the five-year-old son of Blake Anderson.

Approximately 50 turtles competed in six heats in this year's 2022 races.

hese turtle races are sponsored by First Christian Church of Glennville, and they were held at 2 p.m. this past Saturday during the Glennville Sweet Onion Festival in the parking lot next to the Stage at Barnard. They usually draw a boisterous crowd of turtle-racing fans.

Depending on the number of entries, the races begin with up to nine turtles racing in heats.  Then the winner of each heat competes for first, second, and third place.

No fee is charged to enter a turtle in the World Champion Turtle Races. Usually, these turtles are found locally in ponds or crossing the roadways in the county.  No gopher turtles are allowed as entries since these are a protected species.

First, second, and third place winners received trophies.  Trophies were also presented for the Smallest Turtle and the Largest Turtle.

The founder of the World Champion Turtle Races is the late Ed Schwedler, who is remembered by many in Glennville for his enthusiasm and energy he invested in beginning these in 2002.