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She’s Britain’s cheese rolling champ again. NC State grad to bring home the Gloucester

For the second time in three years, one of the winners of the world’s premier cheese-rolling event is from North Carolina.

Abby Lampe clocked the fastest descent in this year’s Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling, in which people tumble down a steep, muddy hillside in England in pursuit of a rolling 8-pound wheel of double Gloucester.

“I got down to the bottom,” she said Monday on a call from England, “and I looked around to see if there were any other people, and there weren’t. It as just me. So I said, ‘Did I win?’ “

The winner gets to keep the wheel of double Gloucester.

Lampe graduated from N.C. State University in 2022, not long before she won her first Cooper’s Hill event, held outside the city of Gloucester 100 miles northwest of London. She told the Independent newspaper in England that she wanted to regain her title.

“I just remember rolling down and my face getting beat up again,” she told the newspaper. “I was thinking to myself there was only going to be a few seconds and I would get to the bottom at some point and it will be over.”

Preparing for a second run was more nerve-wracking, she said, because expectations were higher for a former champ.

But during this year’s roll, she met other Wolfpack alumni among the competitors. Meanwhile, back in Raleigh, fans are celebrating NC State dominance in a new sport.

“NC State is officially a Women’s Cheese Roll school,” said a Monday tweet.

Hundreds of people take part in the race, and not a few are injured in the process. Ambulances are on hand to carry away those who need medical attention.

The cheese-rolling tradition is thought to date back hundreds of years to mark the return of spring, according to the Independent. The event got so big it was officially canceled after 15,000 people showed up in 2009.

It has continued unofficially since then, still drawing people from around the world. The winner of Monday’s men’s race is from Munich, Germany.

Lampe, 23, discovered the event on the internet and, during a two-year pandemic hiatus, practiced on the steepest hill she could find in Raleigh’s Dorothea Dix Park.

After her first victory, Lampe shipped her prize wheel home to her parents in Clayton. She told the Independent that she will ship her second double Gloucester wheel home to North Carolina as well.

Abby Lampe after her first victory in the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling event in England two years ago. Lampe, a graduate of NC State University, won the women’s race again this weekend.
Abby Lampe after her first victory in the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling event in England two years ago. Lampe, a graduate of NC State University, won the women’s race again this weekend.

The record for cheese-roll wins stands at four, she said, so she will likely stay in shape and keep competing.

“I’m only two away.”