First the cereal.
Then the canned goods.
And never put eggs on the bottom.
For Taylor Cantrell, winning an upcoming competition is all in the bag a reusable one, if you please.
After months of training, Cantrell will represent Kansas and Dillons Stores at the National Grocers Associations 2013 Best Bagger Championship on Feb. 10 in Las Vegas.
Its crazy. It hasnt really hit me yet, Cantrell said between practice sessions Friday afternoon. I do better under pressure.
Competitors will be judged in several areas: speed, how prudently items have been bagged, and whether the weight of items is evenly distributed among three bags. There are also points for attitude, personality and appearance.
Cantrell has worked at the Dillons at 21st and Maize for a year and a half. If she wins at nationals, the prize is $10,000.
The 18-year-old Maize High senior says the money will go toward college and a car if she wins. She isnt sure yet where shell go to school next year, but she wants to become a doctor.
The winner also gets a trip to New York City to be on The Late Show with David Letterman for a special bagging competition.
I just told her I want to go to David Letterman so I could meet Bradley Cooper or somebody whos on there, Taylors mom, Kris Cantrell, joked.
Several family members will accompany her to Las Vegas.
Its been a nice experience to help her mature and come out of her shell, said her father, Todd Cantrell. She used to be kind of shy.
Cantrells parents say her calm and collected nature is her strength. Her bagging coach, Ricardo Jimenez, front-end operations coordinator for Wichita Dillons stores, agrees.
She does a great job with customers and helping other associates, Jimenez says. Shes engaging, friendly and helpful.
Now that she has her total bagging time for three bags down to between 37 and 44 seconds, Jimenez says Cantrell is focusing on even weight distribution.
Theres no doubt the people at Dillons and grocery stores across the country take the competition seriously.
Its like an Olympic sport, said Billy Saunders, division front end operation manager for Dillons. Some people even practice blindfolded.
Last year, Dillons sent an associate from Manhattan, but he did not place in the national competition.