MOUNT IDA – Neither a rainy Friday, nor a cold Saturday was able to slow the diggers down at the 32nd Annual World Championship Crystal Dig with DiAnna Kelsey walking away with Grand Champion honors.
Kelsey, who was digging in the lower mine at Twin Creeks Crystal Mine, finished in the top two in the individual categories. She earned a second place finish in the Top Cluster division with a point total of 120. She won the Top Point division with a score of 70. Her total score of 190 was enough to claim the Grand Champion prize.
Winner of the Top Cluster division was Melissa Weenink who won the division with a point total of 136.67.
The Top Five in the Point division were:
1st place – DiAnna Kelsey (70 points) Avon, Colorado
2nd place – Brian Thompson (52.67 points) Colorado
3rd place – Kyle Smith (31.67 points) Botham, Alabama
4th place – Zachary Weenink (31.33 points) Tyler, Texas
5th place – Henry Marek (27.33 points) Houston, Texas
The Top Five in the Cluster division were:
1st place – Melissa Weenink (136.67 points) Tyler, Texas
2nd place – DiAnna Kelsey (120 points) Avon, Colorado
3rd place – Zachary Weenink (109.33 points) Tyler, Texas
4th place – Brian Thompson (103 points) Colorado
5th place – Kimberly Perry (73 points) Owasso, Oklahoma
There were four competitors in the Young Miners division this year with Jayden Tipton winning the competition with a point total of 22.67.
Top Three finishers in the Young Miners division include:
1st place – Jayden Tipton (22.67 points)
2nd place – Kinley Luetjen (21.67)
3rd place – Caden Biscup (21 points)
Rockhounding Missouri won the award for Club with the Most Members Participating.
The East Texas Gem and Mineral Society, which consisted of Zachary Weenink and Melissa Weenink, won the award for Club with the Highest Score.
This year the awards banquet was held at the Bamboo Palace in Mount Ida. Participants, vendors, and volunteers enjoyed a buffet meal before the awards were presented. The Montgomery County Council for the Performing Arts assisted in the judging of the event.
There were 100 diggers who participated in this year’s competition which was held at the upper and lower mines at Twin Creeks Crystal Mine off Collier Springs Road East of Mount Ida. Competitors dug Friday and Saturday with each digger turning in one point and one cluster each day. The points and clusters were judged separately by a panel of experts with each entry receiving a dollar value. The score was the average from all the judge’s scores. The totals from both days were added together to get the final score for each entry.
Rain poured down all day Friday, but it didn’t seem to dampen the spirits or enthusiasm of the competitors. The skies cleared off overnight, but the temperatures had dropped into the 40’s by Saturday morning. Undaunted, the diggers took to the mines to collect some amazing crystals.
Twin Creeks Mine also sponsored a Kid’s Dig Saturday morning at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. 19 kids participated in three age categories. Each age group took turns digging through a trailer full of tailings provided by Dixie and Bobby Fecho from Twin Creeks Mine. Dixie helped the diggers sort through their crystals and then judged the competition.
The Top Four Places include:
1st Place – Hayden Conner
2nd Place – Addis Rodriguez
3rd Place – Bayler Luetjen
4th Place – TJ Conner
The 32nd World Championship Quartz Crystal Dig was held in conjunction with the 39th Annual Quartz, Quiltz and Craftz Festival in Mount Ida.
The QQC Festival is a unique event in that it features three festivals at once. The Crafts and Gem and Mineral Show are sponsored by the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce and the Quilt Show is sponsored by the Montgomery County EHC.
For more information about the World Championship Crystal Dig, the QQC Festival, or the Chamber visit mtidachamber.com.