Tyler Stevenson of Hannibal won the National Fence Painting Championship on Saturday, July 6, defeating three other contestants.
He is the 12-year-old son of Kevin and Rhonda Stevenson and had won the local fence painting on July 4 to qualify for the national event.
This was his third year to compete, according to his mother, who added that she has been told "it takes three years to win (the national contest)."
Second place in the national contest was won by Spencer Fuller of Monroe City, who earlier won the state contest on July 5. His parents, Dan and Tracy Fuller, were among a large group of family members and friends cheering for Spencer, who also won second place in the national contest in 2012.
Austin McCall of O'Fallon, Ill., won third place. Austin, 13, is the son of Rene and Greg McCall. He explained he had also competed in the fence painting last year. Austin's cheering section included his aunt and uncle, Sue and Don Warren of Hannibal, whom the family was visiting.
Logan Pfahler, 11, of Natick, Mass., was the fourth contestant in the national event. His parents are Dave and Missy Pfahler. Before traveling to Hannibal, the family had watched videos of the fence painting from years past, Missy said. After arriving in Hannibal, they had toured the Mark Twain Museum.
With Tyler's win, 2013 is the third consecutive year the championship has gone to by the Hannibal winner. In 2012 Keaton Bartz won, following the 2011 champion, Dawson Walden, also of Hannibal.
The previous year Dylan Behl of New London won, so the trophy has remained in Missouri for three years, and Tyler has added one more year to have the trophy displayed at the state capitol in Jefferson City.
Fence painting emcee Bryan Hammock, one of three co-chairpersons of National Tom Sawyer Days, gave a brief history of the fence painting, reporting the local celebration began with a fence painting contest in 1956.