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5th-grader credits his pit bull for making rottenest sneaker

MONTPELIER, Vt. — An annual rotten sneaker contest included a little international competition when an entry came in from the crew of the USS Montpelier submarine.

The sneaker arrived double-bagged from an undisclosed location in the Persian Gulf where the submarine is currently deployed. But the shoe arrived with an unmistakable odor of fish.

Contestants are required to be under 15, but contest organizers still gave the military shoe an honorary title of "most rotten sneaker."

"That's a weapon of mass destruction right there," said commentator Dave Moody, who moderated the 28th annual contest.

The rotten sneaker contest began in 1975 as a way to help a local sporting goods store sell shoes.

Ten-year-old Jeffry Soto walked away with the contest's top prize Tuesday — a $500 savings bond. However, he's not taking full credit for the sneakers, which stumped a judge in the "heels" category because they didn't have any heels left.

The fifth grader says his pit bull helped make his entry the winner.

"I had a fight with my dog," said Soto, who lives in the Bronx, N.Y., and advanced from the local competition held there last November. "I was trying to get it away from him because he uses it as a chew toy."