Two brothers from Louisville and a 16-year-old girl from Green will represent Akron in the 82nd FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby next month.

It's the first time in recent years that siblings have each captured a local championship in Akron to move on to the national race, said Jeff Iula, president of the Akron Area Soap Box Derby.

The three local champions were among about 50 children who competed Saturday in the Akron Area Soap Box Derby at Derby Downs. The winners were:

Stock division: Matthew Conway, 12, of Louisville.

Super stock: Sarah Kolesar, 16, of Green.

Masters champion: Mikey Conway, 15, of Louisville.

Iula said the Conways are brothers and it was the third time Mikey had won a local championship.

The three teens will represent Akron in the All-American Soap Box Derby, which is also in Akron. Race week is July 14-20.

A racer representing Akron has not won the national trophy in nine years.

But, Iula said, through the 82-year run, Akron has won top honors at the All-American 16 times, twice as many times as any other city.

Only Akron, Cleveland and Indianapolis have sent racers to all 82 All-Americans, Iula said.

 

A bit of history

The first All-American Soap Box Derby was held in Dayton in 1934 and featured youngsters from 34 cities. The following year, the race moved to Akron.

Derby Downs, where racers continue to compete today, opened in 1936.

Racers between the ages of 7 and 20 years old are eligible to compete, as long as they build their own car to the derby's specifications (car kits are available).

While an early car might have been made from a soap box, there is actually no record of such a creation.