Dave and Carol Stelts

Dave and Carol Stelts of Enon Valley stand behind their giant pumpkin that captured first place and the Pennsylvania record at 2,090.5 pounds at the Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers Weigh-Off last Saturday in Canfield, Ohio.

CANFIELD, Ohio — A local giant pumpkin grower lost his title as the grower of the heaviest pumpkin in the state, but he helped the other growers set a world record for having the 10 heaviest pumpkins at a single location.

The world record average now stands at an average of 1,825 pounds per pumpkin following the results of a weigh-off held last weekend in Ohio.

Dave and Carol Stelts of Enon Valley set the Pennsylvania record for heaviest pumpkin at 2,090.5 pounds at the Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers 23rd annual giant pumpkin weigh-off last Saturday at Parks Garden Center in Canfield, Ohio.

The couple beat the previous state title held by Quinn Werner of Saegertown. Werner's weight was 2,020.5. Werner earned sixth place this year with a giant pumpkin weighing in at 1,791 pounds.

Dave Stelts is not a newcomer to growing prize-winning giant pumpkins, as he says he set the world record in 2000. In the 25 years he and his wife have grown giant pumpkins, Stelts said he has won first place five times.

Stelts added that Werner has won the weigh-off seven times and their friend, Jerry Rose, from Huntsburg, Ohio, has won four times.

"Between the three of us we've won the weigh-off 17 times," Stelts said.

Although Stelts outweighed Rose, his residency in Pennsylvania prevented him from taking Rose's title. Rose held onto his Ohio record with a 2,058.5-pound giant pumpkin set in 2016.

Despite the fact that Stelts competes each year with Werner, Rose and lots of others — there were 43 giant pumpkins entered in the weigh-off this year — he considers both men to be good friends.

Stelts also credited the other growers with helping to set the world record this year.

"Everyone in the top 10 who grew or contributed a seed helped break the record," he said.

Giant pumpkins weren't the only record breakers at the Canfield weigh-off. 

Lee and Derrick Zappa of Sharpsville took the state record for a watermelon that weighed 210.5 pounds.

State records were broken for widest sunflower head also. Rose and his son won the Ohio record with a 29-inch flower, while Zappa got the Pennsylvania record for one measuring 28.5 inches.

The Rose family also took first place for the heaviest 4.68-pound tomato, heaviest 139.5-pound jack-o'-lantern pumpkin and they were named this year's Grand Exhibitors.

Stelts admitted he's already at work preparing to hold onto his state record.

"We started getting our 2018 patch ready," he said. "Tell Werner and Rose we don't plan on giving up first place."

Lorri Drumm can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at lorrid@meadvilletribune.com.

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