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WNY man to compete in Nathan's Famous Hot Dog eating contest

"Megabyte" Ronnie Hartman from Western New York is ranked 20th in the world. Top-ranked Joey Chestnut will also complete in the annual Independence Day event.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Independence Day is known for many things. Aside from the obvious, there's also baseball, fireworks, and the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

That contest, held on Coney Island, will once again feature "Megabyte" Ronnie Hartman from Western New York. 

Hartman, who lives in Buffalo, is ranked 20th in the world among the men. No. 1, as you might imagine, is Joey Chestnut.

"I mean, I have a lot of fans and support and family back in Western New York," Hartman told 2 On Your Side last year. "A lot of that has propelled me to get ready for this contest, and like I said, we're late at night, and what's done is done right. What's left now is to get some shuteye, and walk and up and get some chow, and by chow I mean a whole lot of hot dogs."

The winners of the men's and women's contests will each win $20,000, which is equivalent to 444 five-pound packs of Sahlen's natural casing pork and beef hot dogs. (Yes, we did the math.)

This year, 16 men and 13 women will compete. The men's field includes:

  • No. 1 Joey Chestnut of Westfield, Ind.
  • No. 2 Geoffrey Esper of Oxford, Mass.
  • No. 4 Nick Wehry of Tampa, Fla.
  • No. 7 Gideon Oji of Morrow, Ga.
  • No. 10 James Webb of Sydney, Australia
  • No. 11 Patrick Bertoletti of Chicago, Ill.
  • No. 13 Steve Hammond of Kirkland, Wash.
  • No. 15 Adam Moran of Leeds, United Kingdom
  • No. 16 Bartley Weaver of Bowling Green, Ky.
  • No. 17 George Chiger of Pocono Pines, Pa.
  • No. 18 Brett Healey of Memphis, Tenn.
  • No. 19 Juan Rodriguez of Seattle, Wash.
  • No. 20 Ronnie Hartman of Buffalo
  • No. 21 Derek Hendrickson of Las Vegas, Nev.
  • No. 22 Pablo Martinez of Visalia, Calif.
  • No. 23 Derek Jacobs of Vandalia, Ohio

 The women's field includes:

  • No. 3 Miki Sudo of Tampa, Fla.
  • No. 9 Michelle Lesco of Tucson, Ariz.
  • No. 24 Sarah Rodriguez of Seattle, Wash.
  • No. 29 Larell Marie Mele of Long Pond, Pa.
  • No. 32 Katie Prettyman of Marysville, Wash.
  • No. 33 Sophia DeVita of Abilene, Texas
  • No. 42 Holly Titus of Indianapolis, Ind.
  • No. 43 Jocelyn Walker of Sherman, Texas
  • No. 48 Kathryn Tesch of Dorchester, Wis.
  • Julie Goldberg of Queens, N.Y.
  • Rene Rovtar of Basking Ridge, N.J.
  • Prudence DiBenedetto of Queens, N.Y.
  • Catie Livermore of New York, N.Y.

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