For the third straight year, Tucson schoolteacher and competitive eater Michelle Lesco came in second in the women’s division of the annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest Thursday.

Lesco scarfed down 26 hot dogs in 10 minutes — two fewer than she downed in 2018 — but couldn’t keep pace with six-time reigning champion Miki Sudo. Sudo beat Lesco by five dogs, which was six fewer than she ate in the 2018 contest, according to CBS News.

Meanwhile, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut ate his way to a 12th title overall by eating 71 wieners — three fewer than last year. This is Chestnut’s fourth consecutive first-place finish.

Nathan’s has sponsored the hot dog eating contest on Coney Island since 1972. It has been a sanctioned International Federation of Competitive Eating event since 1997, featuring about 20 contestants from around the world.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

Cathalena has covered music for the Star for the past 20 years. She's a graduate of Arizona State University has worked at Sedona Red Rock News, Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, New York; and USA Today.