Boat race brings residents together


Victor Gomez

Shawn Hammers (right), a freshman political science major, celebrates winning the boat relay with his friend Tauhaun Mason (left), a freshman undecided major, Thursday at the campus pond. “Number one in the race, number one in your hearts,” Hammers said.

Chrissy Miller, Staff Reporter

Even after a scary sinking situation, the cardboard boat race for “Residents on Campus” fest still gave residents the chance to mingle and show off team spirit.

During the race, Thomas Hall’s boat sank because the bottom of it ripped off when the team was pushing it into the water.

Justin Gunther, a resident of Thomas Hall, was the one in the boat at the time of its sinking. He almost drowned trying to pull the boat to the other side. Since Thomas was already disqualified when the boat sank, Brad Munos, a sophomore athletic training major who was not a part of the team, jumped in and swam across the cold Campus Pond to retrieve the team’s boat.

Gunther abandoned the boat, left Campus Pond, and was given towels to help him dry off.

The boat race was a part of this year’s Rocfest, giving teams another chance to compete with boats they made in a race to get more points for their residence halls.

The fairytale theme for Rocfest could be seen in the boat’s decorations. Halls put everything from  “kiss my ace,” referencing “Alice in Wonderland,” to “it’s all ogre now” and “#JustRight” referring to “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” on their boats.

Mike Mifflin, complex director for Lincoln, Stevenson and Douglas Halls and judge of boat aesthetics, said Lincoln won with their pink pig head and multicolored duct tape boat that included pictures, including flowers to cheetah print on it. Stevenson Hall had a boat with a “Shrek” theme, and Ford’s boat shaped was like a wolf.

Regia Palmer, a resident assistant at Stevenson Hall, said though she thought her hall’s boat was the best, she loved seeing all of the hall’s creative designs.

“You really got to see people’s creativity when it came to the boats,” Palmer said. “You can honestly see how each hall is different by the boat they created.”

In the end, Douglas Hall placed first, with Stevenson coming in second and Weller placing third. However, it was a close call between first and second because Douglas’ team was not aware they had to drag their boat on shore and almost lost by a technicality.

Storm Moore, a resident of Douglas Hall, said he was ecstatic about the win.

“We put a lot of hard work into that boat and we tried really hard, we put a lot of effort into the rowing and everything,” Moore said. “We started off a little shaky, but we ended up taking the win, and I’m real proud of that.”

It took the team two days to build their boat, which was the largest one in the race. Shawn Hammers, a resident of Douglas Hall, said the boat was so big because of a simple misunderstanding.

“I initially thought that there was supposed to be three people in the boat at one time, so that’s why I did a wide base and the longer boat style,” Hammers said. “When I figured out it was one person it relieved a lot of pressure.”

Coming in a close second, the team from Stevenson Hall had a lot to be proud of, Palmer said.

“This is my first time ever coming to one of the boat races,” Palmer said.

Though Palmer thought because it was getting colder outside and everyone was trying to get dinner, a lot of people were not going to come, but the turnout was better than she expected.

“I saw residents I’ve never seen in Stevo come out,” Palmer said.

The experience was fun, even for people who did not place, Maresa Jordan, sophomore sociology major from Andrews Hall, said.

“We tried our best effort and that’s all that matters,” Jordan said. “We get to compete against the other residence halls and show that Andrews is going to be on top either way.”

As far as boat races go, Mifflin said he thought it went well and was really proud of the halls he supervises.

“A ton of people came out to support their hall, which was really great,” Mifflin said.


To see a gallery of photos from the boat races, click here.

Chrissy Miller can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]