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First-time competitor: Brooklyn Staab wore the uniform of her dad, Chris, for her waterball contest.

The decades-old tradition of friendly competition to see who can move an empty barrel suspended on a cable above the street continued in Vinton, as the popular firemen's waterball competition returned.

Firefighter Dennis Bramow organized the event, and his team earned 4th Place in Sunday's competition, which included 40 men's teams and 17 women's teams from several departments throughout Iowa. Bramow's teams earned First Place and Fourth Place trophies earlier this year.

While waterball is not nearly as popular as it was a generation ago, when hundreds of people would attend events nearly every weekend in some Iowa town, there is still a continued interest in the sport. Two Vinton participants are rookies who are just beginning to learn waterball skills. Reserve firefighter Dave Kalina participated in just his second event on Sunday. And in the women's division, 14-year-old Brooklyn Staab participated in her very first waterball fight. Although each lost their first-round competition, both Kalina and Staab say they enjoy the competitions very much and plan to try to compete again soon.

The next big event for firefighters in the 2014 IFA Convention, which takes place the first week in September in Grinnell. Approximately 10 Vinton firefighters plan to attend that event, said Chief Gary McKenna.

In Sunday's event in Vinton, which Bramow organized, the women's winners were: 1st Place: Hills; 2nd Place, Nashua; 3rd Place, Rowley; and 4th Place, Hawkeye.

Men's winners were: 1st Place, Hawkeye 1; 2nd place, Monticello 1; 3rd Place, Riverdale 1; 4th Place, Vinton 1 (team members included Dennis Bramow, Chris Staab, Dave Kalina and Gary McKenna).

See more photos HERE.



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