Rylee Rodriguez, 11, of Hannibal, had plenty of help in preparing to win the title of Hannibal's 2017 Tomboy Sawyer.

Rylee Rodriguez, 11, of Hannibal, had plenty of help in preparing to win the title of Hannibal's 2017 Tomboy Sawyer.

She is the daughter of Nancy Jones and Tony Rodriguez. After the winners were announced, her mom explained that she had competed in this contest when she was Rylee's age. “I was just waiting for her to turn 10,” Jones said.

The contest is for girls ages 10 to 12. After competing in six contests based on points, the winners are competed.

Jones said Rylee, “practiced for the slingshot contest (which she won), the watermelon seed spitting, bubblegum blowing and gunnysack race. … She did all except the minnow catching.”

Rylee previously competed in 2016 and won the watermelon seed spitting contest.

Additional 2017 winners were: second place Tomboy Sawyer – Grace Fessenden; third place – Sophia Vandiver; watermelon seed spitting – Lauren Highfill; costume – Sophia Vandiver; bubblegum blowing – Alana Lemon; minnow catch – Savannah Corey; and gunnysack race – Reece Naeve.

Riah Wigfall and Ashley Davis also competed.

This annual National Tom Sawyer Days contest is sponsored by the Business Women of Missouri, Hannibal Chapter. In the beginning it included a fence painting contest.

The sponsors were glad to note that although Tomboy Sawyer no longer has a fence painting contest, the Hannibal Jaycees had scheduled their first girls' fence painting this year. Rylee planned to compete in this girls' contest on July 2.

The contest judges included Hannibal Mayor James Hark, and Tom and Becky (Spencer Street and Tammy Bross).

The contestants' family members were busy taking pictures and videos during the contest, and this year the girls also were photographed by freelance photographer Peter Matthews of Ireland, who was taking pictures for an article he hopes to have published in “Irish Travel Magazine.”

See photo gallery for more pictures of the Tomboy Sawyer contest.

Reach reporter Bev Darr at bev.darr@courierpost.com.