Liberty teen sacks her way to a $1,000 prize! - KCTV5

Liberty teen sacks her way to a $1,000 prize!

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Jennifer Malicoat likes to go by the name MacKinzie. But, whether it's Jennifer or MacKinzie, you should know this about the 18-year old from Liberty - she can really sack groceries.

In fact, she's one of the best sackers in the country, bringing home third prize in a recent national grocery sacking contest sponsored by the National Grocers' Association.

Malicoat bested 24 other sackers in the contest, which took place at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas during the association's national convention. She sacked a first time to reach the finals pitting the top five sack specialists against one another, then again in the final "sack off." For her efforts, Malicoat, a Liberty High School senior who sacks groceries at the Liberty Price Chopper on 291 Highway, won $1,000 and a lot of respect.

"She's just a natural," said Debbie Reek, officer manager at the Liberty Chopper. "MacKenzie had to win our store competition with 27 Price Choppers competing, then the Missouri contest down in Branson with even more sackers to stack up against, before she even got to Vegas. When she started competing, she had only worked here about three months," Reek continued.

Now, about a year into her tenure at Price Chopper, Malicoat has defeated nearly 100 of the best grocery sackers in the country. What's it like to compete on the big stage in Sin City?

"I was more excited than nervous," Malicoat said. "There were a lot of people there, folks attending the convention, and families of the people competing, but I just focused on the items."

Malicoat and the others competed in three categories: timing, technique and weight. The timing is obvious. Malicoat's time was :58. I'm not sure what the Russian and French judges (just kidding) were looking for with technique, but with regards to weight, the key was evenly distributing the items among the three bags competitors were given.

Malicoat said it was no big deal.

"The hardest part was all the small items: tiny cans, soap and other things that were tough to handle. I just tried to keep everything in the right categories and distribute them evenly among the bags," she said.

It was a winning strategy for Malicoat, who says she's going to major in accounting at  Missouri, Northwest Missouri State or Kansas State.

She sure has the head, and the hands, for the field. No doubt her college career is in the bag!

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