The winner of Drake University's 43rd annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest has been crowned!

Last night, 30 bulldogs from Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, and Nebraska took over the Knapp Center at Drake University to compete for the prestigious 'Most Beautiful Bulldog' award. The annual tradition is a kickoff event for the Drake Relays, which will officially begin on Wednesday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. If you're not familiar with the Beautiful Bulldog Contest, the Facebook page reads:

"The winner, who receives top honors as well as a crown and cape, appears before his or her royal subjects of 16,000 fans at the Drake Relays to be officially honored as the Relays mascot."

According to a press release from Drake University, the 2022 champion is a 5-year-old bulldog from Champlin, Minnesota named Bam Bam! Bam Bam and his owner Maggie Estby, a zookeeper at the Minnesota Zoo, dressed up as a couple of characters from the Pixar Movie 'Up' during the competition. Maggie went as Carl, while Bam Bam was Russel, complete with a backpack and balloons! He strutted his stuff on stage and showed off his awesome high-five skills.

Bam Bam wasn't the only bulldog to take home an award at this year's competition! Other pups won in the categories of Best Dressed, Porterhouse People’s Choice, Rescue Dog, and the Drake Spirit Award. Last year's champion Myrtle Mae was also there to help crown the new winner! You can check out all the adorable photos from the event on the Des Moines Register's website HERE.

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