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UCSD grad wins eating contest

More than 200 people cheered on their favorite competitors in the second annual Corned Beef Musubi Eating Contest hosted by L&L Hawaiian Barbecue in Mira Mesa on Feb. 15.

The contest began with 14 brave competitive eaters from San Diego and the Western U.S. vying to win the qualification round.

At the end of the five-minute contest, Justin Wu, 22, a recent UCSD graduate, and two other contestants finished in a three-way tie, each eating 7 1/2 full-size musubis. To determine the ultimate winner, contest organizers held a “sudden victory” challenge, to break the tie. Wu won, eating just one more, for a grand total of 8 1/2 musubis.

His prize? A trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines, to compete in the fifth annual Corned Beef Musubi Eating Championships, set for March 17.

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Wu said he loves musubi so much he could have had more immediately after the contest. “It’s a mix of salty from the corned beef and sweet from the sauce and the seaweed bundles it up perfectly,’' the La Jolla resident said. “And it’s compact so it’s really convenient.’'