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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Grinnellians make the most out of rainy Relays, start a dance party in Gates


Gabe Lehman

From 10/10 to Block Party, Grinnell prides itself on its long held traditions. Grinnell has a long and illustrious history and students feel it is their duty to uphold the standard left to them by their forbearers.

In no case is this more evident than with Relays, the annual drunken Olympics that truly signifies the beginning of spring on the campus. Like all great Grinnell traditions, Relays has all the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding and all the sloppiness of an overly tipsy first-year.

For second-year and event organizer Shannon Hautzinger ’18, Relays runs in her blood. Hautzinger’s older brother, Ryan Hautzinger ’15, organized Relays last year and made sure his sister followed in his footsteps. More impressive still, the Hautzinger connection to Relays goes back generations.

“There is a family aspect to it, too, because my dad went here and he did Relays. There is a newspaper article from the S&B that is a picture of him chugging a beer at Relays,” Shannon Hautzinger said. 

Many think that Relays is a crazy event today, but according to Anthony LaMacchia ’16, current students are actually getting a watered down version of the event.

“In the past it was like every team had a mini keg. And in the 90s, the objective was finish your keg and take it to Burling and then you win or something,” LaMacchia said. 

Considering that there was an astounding fifty teams competing on last Saturday, this would have meant quite a few kegs. In reality, only three kegs were purchased for the games. 

In a perfect world, Relays takes place a picturesque 75-degree day, but this year’s games happened to coincide with a biblical-scale storm with bone-chilling winds and down pouring rain. Competitors, however, did not let the near-hypothermic conditions dampen the mood. Because of the brewing tempest, the second half of events was cancelled and instead was replaced by an impromptu dance party in Gates Lounge.

“Gates was actually really fun. And that is kind of what we hoped for, just people having a good time,” Hautzinger said.

Sources confirmed that when the smash hit “Work From Home” by Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign played, it was met with unbridled euphoria from the wet competitors on an adrenaline high.

LaMacchia, however, was not as thrilled with the inability to finish the games, but he was content knowing that the day was enjoyed by all.

“I would say it was half a success, in that it was fun but unfortunate that we couldn’t finish. It was still a great time, though,” LaMacchia said.

Like so many seniors, LaMacchia has seen the culmination of a long and illustrious career at Grinnell. He now must pass on his legacy to the next generation: Hautzinger, Nick Curta ’17, Ariel Keller ’17 and Thomas Marsho ’17.

LaMacchia’s parting wish for his protégés is simply for good weather. If only he had been so lucky.

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