National, state hot air balloon champions crowned
Soaked in champagne, Johnny Petrehn, 42, of Kansas City, Kansas, claimed first place and $10,000 following the conclusion of the 2014 U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship on Sunday.
Petrehn’s younger brother, Paul, 40, won the event in 2013. He placed ninth in the competition this year.
“I really wanted to win down here,” Johnny Petrehn said. “I believe this is the best balloon competition in the world. And this victory will definitely make Thanksgiving dinner more enjoyable for me this year.”
Joe Heartsill, of San Angelo, placed second in the national competition. As the highest ranking Texan, he took home the Texas State Champion title. Heartsill’s son placed third in nationals.
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