By RACHEL HARTLY
Fifteen minutes, five pounds, one stomach. That is the description of the famed Adam Emmenecker Sandwich Challenge developed by barbeque joint, Jethro’s BBQ, located in the Drake Neighborhood of Des Moines.
On April 16, this monster sandwich returned to Drake University for the Emmenecker Challenge Event hosted by Student Alumni Association, an organization that helps to keep Drake traditions like this one alive.
Veteran Emily Seuferer, offered up her team’s strategy from previous years.
“We ate what we liked eating and got down to what was left,” Seuferer said. “We
finished a little before 15 minutes, so I guess it was a successful strategy.”
This challenge is one of many Drake traditions and many encourage students to tkae part in these traditions.
“When you’ve graduated and are looking back, it’s going to be these things, it’s going to be Hubbelling, it’s going to be kissing rock, it’s going to be those iconic Drake things that are going to make you love and appreciate having been here,” said Rebecca Clair, one of the two vice presidents of traditions in Student Alumni Association.
The goal of the event was to bring the school together and help the Des Moines community.
“It’s a community builder, and we looked this year to try to draw in the community,” Clair said. “Whether it’s donating to a food pantry or working with the Drake neighborhood, and obviously working with Jethro’s.”
The event, emceed by former Drake basketball star Adam Emmenecker, was held at 6 p.m. in Shiver’s Courtside Club, connected to the Knapp Center.
Close to 100 students and staff, including nine groups of three sandwich eaters and spectators, attended The challenge was invented in 2008 when Emmenecker was contacted by Bruce Gerleman, owner of Jethro’s with a vision.
“His [Gerleman’s] vision was a food challenge that’s identifiable with Drake and identifiable with Des Moines, that when people step up to play in the city, the first place they want to go is Jethro’s,” Emmenecker said.
Emmenecker was invited to the Jethro’s kitchen and asked to pick out his favorite ingredients and foods to put in the sandwich.
The result was a five-pound sandwich constructed of pork tenderloin, buffalo chicken tenders, fried cheese balls, bacon, hamburger patty and beef brisket, crowned with a spicy pickle and surrounded by a pound of waffle fries.
During Tuesday’s competition, within 3 minutes and 44 seconds, the first place winner was already announced, team Holy Smokes, Nathan Engelhardt, Jack Kaminski and Chris Auger of Drake’s Sigma Chi chapter.
“I came in with some of the hungriest boys on campus,” Engelhardt said. “We just came in, did our job, that’s all I gotta say. Aim for the stars.”
By the end of the 15 minutes, all nine teams had finished their sandwiches.