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America’s fastest dog is Crownsville mixed-breed Wailin’ Phelan The Bearded Lass

Phelan from her owner, Krista Shreet to co-owner, Ted Koch on a beach on the Severn River. Phelan is the nation's fastest dog, as decided by the American Kennel Club's Fast CAT Invitational Dec. 9-11, 2020. She is a Staghound from Crownsville, a Greyhound / Scottish Deerhound / Russian Borzoi mix.
Phelan from her owner, Krista Shreet to co-owner, Ted Koch on a beach on the Severn River. Phelan is the nation's fastest dog, as decided by the American Kennel Club's Fast CAT Invitational Dec. 9-11, 2020. She is a Staghound from Crownsville, a Greyhound / Scottish Deerhound / Russian Borzoi mix. (Jeffrey F. Bill/Capital Gazette)

A mixed-breed dog from Crownsville won an American Kennel Club contest and was named the nation’s fastest pooch in December.

Wailin’ Phelan The Bearded Lass, a rescue adopted by Krista Shreet and Ted Koch, competed against 116 other dogs in the inaugural Fast Course Ability Testing (CAT) Invitational, according to the club’s website. The fastest dogs of each breed, as ranked by prior kennel club events, met in Orlando for the competition Dec. 9-11.

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The Fast CAT is a 100-yard sprint in which dogs chase a lure on a string down a grassy field. The finals were televised on ESPN.

The dogs ran three times and their speeds were converted into miles per hour and averaged. Phelan ran an average of 32.3 miles an hour, beating a greyhound named Dagnabit, which came in second at 31.2 miles per hour.

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Phelan poses with her owner, Krista Shreet on a beach on the Severn River. Phelan is the nation's fastest dog, as decided by the American Kennel Club's Fast CAT Invitational Dec. 9-11, 2020. She is a Staghound from Crownsville, a Greyhound / Scottish Deerhound / Russian Borzoi mix.
Phelan poses with her owner, Krista Shreet on a beach on the Severn River. Phelan is the nation's fastest dog, as decided by the American Kennel Club's Fast CAT Invitational Dec. 9-11, 2020. She is a Staghound from Crownsville, a Greyhound / Scottish Deerhound / Russian Borzoi mix. (Jeffrey F. Bill/Capital Gazette)

The slowest dog at the race was a Pekingese named Buster who averaged 7.8 miles per hour. While Buster was slow relative to other dogs, Buster is the fastest Pekingese in the country, which isn’t nothing.

Koch said they didn’t have any expectations when entering the competition, and thought the greyhound competing would win. It was a sweet victory to the end of a bitter year.

“It just shows you, hang in there, we’re going to pull through this, we’ve all got something wonderful to contribute,” he said.

The dog came to them with the name Phelan, which means wolf, but they came up with the extended name for competition, which references her scruffy face and Scottish roots.

Phelan likes to swim in the Severn River, take walks through the neighborhood and hike in Bacon Ridge.

Phelan is categorized as a large All-American dog, a term the club uses to describe mixed-breeds and unrecognized breeds. Shreet and Koch adopted her three years ago. She is 4 years old, and a genetic test shows she is part greyhound, part borzoi and part Scottish deerhound, a combination that leads them to think she was bred to hunt coyote.

They started competing to get her involved in activities to burn off energy that also suited her strength, which is how they became involved with kennel club events.

“You can tell she has fun,” Shreet said.

As an owner it was also fun to meet other dog lovers from around the country, she said, and to see the bond between people and their dogs.

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