100 Years of Buggy History – 1990-1993

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This week, we wake up in the morning and our alarm gives off a warning, as the 100 Years of Buggy History Series heads to the 1990s. The battle over buggy funding between fraternities and independents becomes a years-long war, while the number of buggy organizations peaks before receding. The race got its first TV broadcast, some top teams kept winning while others collided, and Pittsburgh weather rears its ugly head again. Plus, SAE decided to celebrate Earth Day.

1990

Raceday: Prelims on Friday, April 19 at 8:00am; Finals on Sunday, April 21 at 8:00am*

Sweepstakes Committee: Erica Levy (Chair); Ray Fratto (Ass. Chair); Jeff Nystrom (Safety); Christie Johnson (“Youngster”), Sabrina Staley (Design)

Men’s Results: (1) PiKA A – Vengeance (2:07.05); (2) Spirit A – Tachyon (2:07.21); (3) SigNu A – Jama (2:12. 87); (4) Theta Xi A – Little Nip (2:13.75); (5) CIA A – Stealth (2:14.34); (6) SDC A – Terrapin (2:15.43)

Women’s Results: (1) PiKA A – Desperado (2:35.66 – COURSE RECORD); (2) Spirit A (2:39.78);(3) Theta Xi A (2:42.67); (4) Fringe A (2:45.01); (5) CIA A (2:56.87); (6) PhiKap A – Secretariat (DNF)

Design Comp: (1) KDR – Prometheus (520 out of 600 points); (2) PhiKap – Secretariat (495 points); (3) SigNu – Jama (464 points)

Other Awards: SigNu’s Jama – People’s Choice

Weather: Cloudy with rain, 44-59 Degrees on Friday; Rain on Saturday; Cloudy, 56-58 on Sunday

Buggy Book: 1990 Buggy Book Link

Prediction Score: 13/55 Men’s, 10/27 Women’s (Compubookie)

1990 began a new decade, and with a new decade came a new team on top. But it took a little longer to find out who that team would be, thanks to rain.

  • Design Comp Miscellany.  There’s a bit of a conflict in what it took to qualify for Design Competition.  The April 24, 1990 Tartan notes that a buggy must have finished in the top third of all buggies in order to qualify for Design Competition awards.  However, the rules printed in the Buggy Book still include the rule that a buggy must finish in the top half.  We don’t know which was correct, though it doesn’t look like it actually affected the Design Comp results in 1990.  And the Design Comp in 1990 was very colorful.  Fringe had 3 neon buggies on display, KDR had their “toxic orange” buggies, and Spirit, Pioneers, ATO and KapSig had buggies with flames, spatter, and graphics.
  • Money and Buggy.  According to the October 31, 1989 Tartan, the Sweepstakes budget allocation from Student Senate in 1990 was $11,130.  Meanwhile, Buggy included a People’s Choice Award in 1990, but each vote cost $0.50.
  • Theta Xi’s Run of Bad Luck.  Theta Xi actually had a pretty good year in 1990, with their Men’s A team finishing in a house record 4th place, the Men’s B team making the Finals, and their Women’s team finishing 3rd, just their second time earning a women’s trophy.  But it also continued a weird streak of bad luck for the fraternity’s mechanics.  According to the May 1, 1990 Tartan, this began in 1988, when the Theta Xi mechanics dropped one of their buggies from the truck as they carried it to the starting line.  In 1989, a wrench mysteriously appeared in the lane that Theta Xi was rolling in.  And 1990 added a new issue to the mix; Buggy chair Keith Braho locked the keys to the U-Haul inside the cab.
  • Pioneers Oversteps.  Pioneers didn’t have the best of luck on Raceday either.  According to the May 1, 1990 Tartan, an unidentified student was injured, and taken to the Presbyterian University Hospital, after a member of Pioneers jumped off of the back of their truck and landed on her wrist.
  • Rough Rolls.  The roll schedule was pretty packed, with Fall Rolls running every weekend day from October 7 through November 5, and Spring Rolls scheduled for every weekend day from March 3 through April 15.  But rain in the Spring caused rolls to be sparse; in fact, by April 10, only 3 days of Spring rolls had taken place (the April 7 rolls were cancelled due to a freak snowstorm).  And a couple of incidents on Truck Weekend led to some concern for the top teams.  Spirit’s new buggy, Vicious Flow, spun in the Chute when trying to complete a pass test.  SigNu’s new buggy, Jama, crashed right after the Chute on the Saturday of Truck Weekend, leaving SigNu with some work to do to get it back into racing shape for Carnival.  And the biggest cause for concern seemed to be about PhiKap, as their buggies had been suffering from steering issues, in addition to worries about inexperience, as the fraternity had gotten their drivers relatively few rolls over the course of the year.
  • SigTau Enters.  Sigma Tau Gamma (SigTau) became the newest fraternity to enter Sweepstakes, making their debut in 1990.  They built a new buggy for the occasion, which they named Vindicator.  The buggy itself looks incredibly short.

1990 – SigTau’s Vindicator (from the 1990 Buggy Book). It may be the camera angle, but the buggy looks incredibly short.
  • New Buggies of 1990. Other than SigTau, a bunch of new buggies made their way to the course in 1990, with some making lasting impressions. SigNu produced a new buggy, which they named Jama. Jama was, according to the April 17, 1990 Tartan, SigNu’s first attempt at a reverse trike (but it wouldn’t be their last), though their attempt to keep their wheels covered by the shell resulted in a particularly large buggy. It was also the last of SigNu’s aluminum truss buggies. PiKA built 2 different buggies – a “disposable” buggy in Vengeance and a longer-lasting one in Desperado. Spirit added the amazingly named Vicious Flow to their ranks, a buggy which weighed approximately 16 pounds without hardware. Beta also added a new buggy to their fleet, the punny Reignmaker. Theta Xi constructed D’Silver Yeti, a buggy whose wide rear made it look like “a cross between a snowblower and a space shuttle”. DTD also added 2 buggies, the similarly named Perception and Deception. We believe that KapSig may have built a new buggy named Santa Maria (later named RDT, and then Jizwah), though we have almost no information about it. Likewise, it appears that SAE built their new buggy, Takoohi, though we don’t believe it made its Raceday debut until 1991. SDC felt that slow and steady would win the race, so they came out with their Spirit clone, Terrapin. And PhiKap built a new buggy that they knew was going to be a champion, so they named it after one – Secretariat.
  • List of Buggies and Teams.  The 1990 times are all in our database (other than Women’s finals, which are listed above) and the heats are in the Buggy Book, but our database does not yet include the buggies assigned to each team.  So while we work to update the database, below is a list of the buggy/Men’s team combos that we know of (we don’t have many of the buggy/Women’s team combos):
    • AFROTC – Stratofortress (A)
    • ATO – Rebel Yell (A)
    • Beta – Mercury (A), Reignmaker (B), Challenger (C), Xavier’s Revenge (D)
    • CIA – Stealth (A), Black Magic (C)
    • DTD – Perception (A), Deception (B)
    • DU – Garganey (A)
    • Fringe – Barrier (A), Junior (B), Lunatic (C)
    • KDR – Prometheus (A), Phoenix (B), Paladin (C)
    • PhiKap – Secretariat (A), Centennial (B), Tempest (C), Duke (D)
    • PiKA – Vengeance (A), Desperado (B), Predator (C), King Solomon (D)
    • Pioneers – Pinnacle (A?)
    • SAE – Quasimoto (A), Limo (B)
    • SDC – Terrapin (A), Banzai (B), Mako (C)
    • SigNu – Jama (A), Jerboa (B), Colugo (C), Lemur (D)
    • SigTau – Vindicator (A)
    • Spirit – Tachyon (A), Vicious Flow (B), Quantum Leap (C), Genesis (D)
    • Theta Xi – Little Nip (A), Nemesis (B)
  • Org Previews.  The April 17, 1990 Tartan contained an org-by-org preview of the teams it expected to be in the Top 10 (plus SAE’s Limo).  They noted some concern about Spirit’s attempt at a fourpeat, as Spirit did not have the depth in pushers that they had in years past. But Spirit did have one advantage over Beta on the pushing side – Beta had lost some of its pushers to a track meet on Carnival weekend.
  • The Limo Roll.  According to SAE Chair Eric Gropp in the April 17, 1990, Limo almost didn’t make it to Raceday in 1990 due to a safety test.  But they ultimately got the buggy to pass by “nailing a trash can lid on Limo’s roof.”  Spectators were certainly happy that the buggy passed, as SAE’s themed roll of Limo was a main attraction on Raceday.  The theme for the 1990 squad was a combination of Sesame Street and Environmental Conservationism.  As Limo emerged from the truck, the Sesame Street theme song began to play, and the pushers were referred to as Ernie (Hill 1), Snuffalophagus (2), Kermit (3), Grover (4), and Cookie Monster (5).  They were each dressed in paint-splattered overalls and gas masks, and Ernie took his time on Hill 1, not even starting to push until Fringe B and Theta Xi A were already halfway up Hill 1.  That’s probably a good thing though, as the Tartan reports that throughout Hill 1, “Ernie” had trouble staying in his lane.  Ernie “collapsed” during the Hill 1-2 transition and “Snuffalophagus” took over, but it then took several more minutes until spectators at the Finish Line would see Limo again. As the buggy reached Hill 5, all 5 pushers came running towards the Finish Line as a group.  One of the pushers was holding a sign that read “Happy Earth Day”.  The buggy stopped the clock in 5:43.131, far behind Fringe B and Theta Xi A in the same heat, but earning the roars and applause of the crowd the entire way.
1990 – SAE’s Limo heads up Hill 5 with all 5 Sesame Street pushers and a Happy Earth Day sign (from the 04-24-1990 Tartan)
  • Sorority Pairings.  In 1990, 4 of the sororities on campus paired with a fraternity to push buggy. Theta continued their successful partnership with PiKA, and DG once again pushed for Beta.  TriDelt made the move to push for SigNu, while the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma found a Kappa fraternity and pushed for KDR.  But Women’s racing still didn’t quite get the respect that it deserved; the April 17, 1990 Tartan noted that “the women pushers agree that teams are more auxiliary to the buggy programs.”  But if you’re interested in the role that women have played in buggy over the past 100 years, good news: CMU posted an article about just that topic!
  • Predictions.  Compubookie was once again back, with his predictions for a Top 11 in Men’s, Top 3 in Women’s, and Top 3 in “Alumni” heats.  He did a terrible job at predicting the year, but for those curious, his Top 11 in Men’s were: (1) Spirit A; (2) Beta A; (3) PiKA A; (4) Spirit B; (5) PiKA B; (6) SigNu A; (7) Theta Xi A; (8) Fringe A; (9) Beta B; (10) Spirit C; (11) PhiKap A.  On the Women’s side, he went with (1) Spirit A; (2) PiKA A; and (3) Fringe A, while in the “alumni” heats (exhibitions) he predicted (1) Sweepstakes; (2) Spirit; and (3) PiKA.
  • Rain Pushes Buggy Again.  Sweepstakes had scheduled the rain date for Sunday of Carnival weekend, which was a good thing, because rain was in the forecast for both Friday and Saturday.  The rain held off early on Friday, long enough to get the Women’s Prelims in.  But after 6 Men’s Heats had been run on Friday, the rain began and the remainder of Raceday was cancelled.  That meant that the times from the first 6 Men’s heats were wiped out. The rain continued on Saturday, so both the Men’s races and the Women’s finals were pushed back to Sunday.  The good news is that the weather was relatively warm on Sunday, making for a decent Raceday.
  • Men’s Comparison – Friday vs. Sunday.  We don’t have the actual times from the 6 Men’s Heats on Friday, but we do have a summary, courtesy of the April 24, 1990 Tartan.  Overall, the times from both days were similar.  Only 3 of the teams – PhiKap C with Tempest, Fringe C with Lunatic, and PiKA C with Predator – got faster on Sunday.  Meanwhile, 3 teams – SDC C with Mako, SigNu B with Jerboa, and SigTau’s debut with Vindicator – got slower.  One team really benefited though – ATO A’s Rebel Yell blew a tire on Friday and earned a DNF, but it was able to finish the race on Sunday, finishing 18th.
  • PiKA B’s Troubles.  The final heat that took place on Friday was a battle between KapSig A in Lane 1, PiKA B’s Desperado in Lane 2, and SigTau A’s Vindicator in Lane 3.   But even though there were 2 A teams, this heat was all about PiKA B.  Running one of their new buggies, Desperado, the B team finished with a time of 2:10.49, which would have been good for 3rd.  But thanks to the rainout, they had to try again on Sunday.  Their new attempt appeared to turn out even better, as the buggy crossed the finish line in a time around 2:08.5.  Unfortunately, when the buggy crossed the finish line, Hill 5 pusher Rich McCance was much further back, as he “didn’t expect the buggy to go that fast”.  Apparently, based on the April 24, 1990 Tartan, PiKA was using a brake flag at the finish line in case the pusher was too far back, but the driver of Desperado couldn’t see the brake flag.  PiKA used this as a learning experience for their A team, telling their A team driver, Darryn Mintz, that she should slow down if she had any problems seeing the brake flag.
  • Women’s Finals.  There were two main stories from the Women’s finals in 1990.  The first was the women of Theta, pushing for PiKA.  With new buggy Desperado, the PiKA A/Theta women’s team set a new course record in Finals Heat 3, clocking in at 2:35.6.  But the most drama came from Finals Heat 2, pitting PhiKap A’s Secretariat against Theta Xi A.  Theta Xi came into the race as the favorite, with the 3rd fastest time in Prelims (versus 6th for PhiKap), but PhiKap’s Hill 1 and 2 pushers, Christie Noll and Paula Madden, kept their buggy neck-and-neck with Theta Xi’s pushers, Colleen Barkley and Susan Shimmel.  As they went over the top of the Hill, the buggies got too close together.  They made contact, and as foreshadowed in the preview for Raceday, PhiKap’s buggy suffered steering issues as a result. PhiKap Driver Cathy Chen was unable to steer the buggy back onto the course, and PhiKap A had to settle for a DNF.  PhiKap requested a reroll as a result of the contact, but the reroll request was denied.
  • Men’s Incidents and DQs.  The worries that teams had around Spirit’s spin during Truck Weekend came to fruition on Raceday, as Vicious Flow spun out during Heat 11 for their B team and ended up in the haybales.  KapSig A and SigNu D also spun in heats 6 and 14, respectively.  Heat 13 was also eventful, as the second buggy in the heat, PhiKap B’s Centennial, spun out in the Chute, blocking the path of Pioneers and leading Pioneers to brake and take a reroll. That reroll was run between Heats 15 and 16.  And Heat 16 ended things with a ton of excitement – not only did Spirit come up just 0.16 seconds behind PiKA, resulting in a 2nd place finish and an end to their 3-year winning streak, but the second and third place buggies, Fringe A’s Barrier and PhiKap A’s Secretariat, bumped in the Chute. Both made it through and no fault was assigned, so neither buggy was DQ’d. But there were a number of other DQs in 1990.  Beta C was DQ’d for a roster violation in Heat 2, and they scratched their D team buggy from Heat 11 in order to provide a rear axle to their B team buggy, Reignmaker.  Spirit B’s Quantum Leap failed Drops and was DQ’d from Heat 4.  And Pushbar DQ’s were all the rage, with 4 straight heats suffering from them.  In addition to PiKA B’s Pushbar DQ in Heat 6, DTD B’s Deception in Heat 5, SigNu C’s Colugo in Heat 7, and unfortunately, Beta B’s Reignmaker in Heat 8, were all DQ’d due to the Hill 5 pushers missing the Pushbar.
  • SigNu Cited For Poleing.  Apparently, back in the late 1980s-early 1990s, SigNu had a tradition of “pole”ing their Buggy Chair, which in 1990 was Jim Shaw.  To “pole” the chair, his ankles are tied together and he’s suspended upside down from a pole, while the other brothers throw water at him.  It seems that most of the brothers got drunk before this, and in 1990, CMU police were not amused.  They tried to stop the event from occurring, telling the brothers to let the Chair go and not to throw water at him.  But when 1 brother agreed to throw the water at the ground instead, he threw it and most of the water hit the police officer.  As a result, SigNu received a citation for alcohol.

1991

Raceday: Prelims on Friday, April 19 at 8:00am; Finals on Saturday, April 20 at 8:00am

Sweepstakes Committee: Ray Fratto (Chair); Christie Johnson (Ass. Chair); Sabrina Staley (Safety); Alexis dePlanque, Joanne Nicklas, Matt Adler (“Youngsters”)

Men’s Results: (1) Spirit A – Vicious Flow (2:10.63); (2) PiKA A – Lone Wolf (2:11.04); (3) Spirit B (2:12.38); (4) SDC A (2:14.13); (5) PiKA B – Renegade (2:14.58); (6) SAE A (2:16.92)

Women’s Results: (1) PiKA A – Renegade (2:35.88); (2) Theta Xi A – Little Nip (2:39.66);(3) Spirit A – Vicious Flow (2:46.57); (4) Fringe A (2:47.63); (5) Pioneers A – Turmoil (2:50.39); (6) ATO A (2:52.26)

Design Comp: Unknown

Weather: Cloudy (Rain in Late Afternoon), 52-57 Degrees on Friday; Cloudy, 49-53 on Saturday

Buggy Book: 1991 Buggy Book Link

Prediction Score: 30/55 Men’s, 18/27 Women’s (Compubookie); 10/27 Men’s, 10/19 Women’s (Ray Fratto), 19/19 (Buggy Chair Consensus)

1991 saw a tight battle between the top 2 teams, while another’s return to glory was undone by an untimely spin.

  • Rough Practices.  Practices weren’t without their incidents during the 1990-1991 school year.  Tartan Sports Editor Katie Culbertson, a driver for PhiKap, wrote an article in the November 5, 1990 Tartan in support of the Buggy safety rules, thankful that they kept her safe when she crashed during Rolls the previous weekend.  She spun out in the Chute, and ended up a little bruised but otherwise healthy (though a little mentally shaken).  But she wasn’t the only one a little dinged up in practice.  The April 8, 1991 Tartan reports that an unidentified pusher was taken to the hospital during Push Practice after he knocked out 2 front teeth while pushing.  On the plus side, not many rolls were cancelled due to inclement weather, at least until Truck Weekend.  On the Saturday of Truck Weekend, everyone was ready to roll at 7am when suddenly the drops of rain began; a steady drizzle continued and after waiting for a while, Sweepstakes decided to cancel rolls.
  • Predictions.  Compubookie dug in a little deeper in 1991, and he wasn’t alone; Sweepstakes Chair Ray Fratto also gave his predictions.  In addition, the Tartan did a detailed org-by-org preview, soliciting predictions from each of the Buggy teams, which sometimes included predictions just for themselves, and sometimes included predictions for the overall winners.  Compubookie’s predictions on the Men’s side were: (1) Spirit A; (2) PiKA A; (3) Beta A; (4) SigNu A; (5) PiKA B; (6) Spirit B; (7) Theta Xi A; (8) ATO A; (9) DTD A; (10) Beta B.  In particular, he noted that PiKA was coming out with 2 new buggies (and stopped rolling the 1990 A team buggy, Vengeance), but they lost 3 pushers from their winning 1990 team.  Spirit is back with a top notch push team and buggy, while Beta has a small new buggy with an exceptional push team and fast freerolls, so those two are expected near the top.  He applauded SigNu’s tech, but not their push team.  He also named ATO the most improved team. On the Women’s side, he went with: (1) Theta Xi A; (2) PiKA A; (3) Spirit A.  This was again based on PiKA having lost some of their pushers, but even worse, this time it wasn’t to graduation; it was to Theta Xi.  Sweepstakes Chair Ray Fratto, meanwhile, went with a Men’s prediction of (1) Beta A, (2) Spirit A, and (3) PiKA A, and a Women’s prediction of (1) PiKA A, and (2) Spirit A.  Of the Buggy Chairs that gave a prediction beyond their own organization, the consensus on the Men’s side was (1) Spirit A, and (2) PiKA A.
  • PiLam Returns.  PiLam may have originally been on the schedule for 1990, but they never made it to Raceday.  That changed in 1991, as they brought Legend back to the course after the 1-year absence.
  • New Buggies of 1991. It would actually be a shorter list to tell you which organizations did not build a new buggy in 1991, as most organizations came out with something new. PiKA continued their tradition of building not 1, but 2 new buggies in 1991, with Renegade and Lone Wolf. ATO added their first new buggy in years, the appropriately named Probation. Beta’s new buggy, Undertaker, may have earned its name from the death of their previous new buggy. CIA decided to produce a new buggy, named Eclipse, and DU appears to have built one as well, though we don’t know the name. KDR had a Prophecy about their chances in 1991, so that’s what they named their buggy. KapSig built a junk buggy, so they named it Recycler. Pioneers produced a new buggy called Turmoil, while SigTau added Patriot. SDC’s commitment to slowness continued, and this time they landed on Escargot. And lastly, SigNu didn’t build something new, but they did switch to smaller wheels, which allowed them to rebuild Jama into a smaller buggy.
  • Herbie The Love Bug.  This doesn’t really fit in to the History of Buggy, but I thought I’d share it anyway.  On Carnival weekend, one of the movies that AB films was showing was “The Love Bug”.  But the Tartan noted that, contrary to popular belief, the plot of the movie was not “a movie about a luckless buggy pusher who teams up with a possessed buggy as they go on to win Sweepstakes and land dates with the hot sorority chicks.” That may not have been the plot of The Love Bug, but call me Hollywood – Have I got a movie to pitch to you!
  • Raceday Administration.  A threat of rain loomed over Saturday (80% chance of rain), and Friday wasn’t looking great either, so Sweepstakes did what it could to make sure they got 2 full days in. It also didn’t help that there was miscommunication over the road closure time.  Sweepstakes ordered the roads closed at 8:15 on Friday, but Radio Club and the police had orders to keep them open until 8:35.  To help get through the races as quickly as possible, Sweepstakes both cut down on the time between heats from 9 minutes to 7 on Friday, and eliminated the Exhibition Heats entirely on Saturday.  But it worked out (though due to the late start on Friday, a couple of radio operators had to leave early), as Sweepstakes got 2 full days of racing in.
  • TV Broadcast.  According to the April 22, 1991 Tartan, there was actually TV coverage of the races!  3 cameras, placed on Hill 2, the Chute, and the Finish Line, allowed Radio Club (W3VC) to provide TV coverage to those on campus, with audio provided by WRCT.  There was a bit of a hiccup with the audio broadcast for the early Women’s heats, but it was fixed soon enough and otherwise ran smoothly.
  • Women’s Racing.  The most impactful Women’s race of 1991 came when Spirit B went up against Pioneers A (the Tartan claims that this was in Prelims Heat 9; we’re not sure that the Heat Schedule in the Buggy Book is correct for Women’s heats, as the information from the Tartan doesn’t match the Buggy Book).  Pioneers went into the freeroll with the lead, but due to a poor shove on Hill 2, their buggy, Turmoil, wasn’t rolling at full speed in the freeroll.  Spirit, meanwhile, gave a big shove to their buggy Tachyon, and so Spirit’s buggy was gaining on Pioneers throughout the freeroll.  Spirit finally caught up to Pioneers just as they reached the Chute.  Since she was traveling with more speed, Spirit’s driver, Leslie Kavchak, made a move to pass on the inside of the Chute, between the haybales and Pioneers’ buggy.  However, there wasn’t quite enough room, and the rear wheels of the two buggies locked up.  After all the Prelim heats were run on Friday, Pioneers was granted a reroll and finished with a 5th place time, knocking Fringe B out of the Finals.  Spirit B, meanwhile, is listed in the Tartan as a DNF, though it’s unclear if they actually spun/earned a DNF, or if they were DQ’d for the contact.  The Finals weren’t all that exciting, as PiKA cruised to victory, and PiKA A’s Hill 1 pusher Jennie Bourque earned the Queen of the Hill award (the second fastest Hill 1 belonged to Theta Xi A’s Kelly Sterling).
  • Men’s Prelims.  Due to the threat of rain on Saturday, teams went all out on Friday, though the cold weather possibly resulted in slower times than normal.  One of the major stories from the day on the Men’s side came from Prelims Heat 8.  Going up against KDR A and SigTau B, PhiKap A’s Secretariat (in Lane 2) was on pace for a Day 2 time.  As it turned into the Chute, its left rear tire blew, causing the buggy to spin out and crash in the Chute.  Meanwhile, in the final heat of the day, Heat 18, Spirit did something very impressive; the April 22, 1991 Tartan quoted Spirit’s Buggy Chair Terence Yarde as saying that Spirit’s Hill 5 pusher, Chad Darby, may have set a record time on Hill 5.  However, no one was timing it – so we don’t know for sure.  In all, 3 rerolls were granted from Friday’s races, all of which were rerun later on Friday: KapSig B, Theta Xi A, and SDC A.  Theta Xi and SDC were awarded their rerolls because their two buggies bumped in the Chute in Heat 14.  KapSig’s reroll came as a result of CIA B hitting KapSig from behind.  But the re-rolls pushed the races closer to rain troubles.  Just as Theta Xi’s reroll started, a light drizzle began, which may have been the cause of the buggy fishtailing a bit in the Chute.  Luckily, they were able to get through the rerolls without needing to cancel.
  • Men’s Finals.  SigNu A’s Jama clinched the 10th spot in the first Men’s Finals heat on Saturday, as SigNu’s Hill 5 pusher couldn’t quite catch up to the buggy as it crossed the Finish Line, earning a Pushbar DQ.  More excitement came in Men’s Finals Heat 3, as Beta A’s Mercury, 3rd in the Prelims, partially spun in the Chute.  The driver was able to save the turn, but the buggy lost so much speed as a result that Beta had no chance at a Top 3 time.  Instead, they had to settle for a disappointing 9th.  So it came down to the last 2 heats, where Spirit was able to edge PiKA’s time and earn the victory.  To add injury to insult, a PiKA pusher had to be taken to the hospital after he injured a finger while pushing. Per Dave Conley in the comments below, this injury was suffered by Hill 2 pusher Ken Brickner, and was the result of an exceptional (and possibly unexpected) Hill 1-2 transition. Hill 1 pusher Rick Hall gave the buggy a tremendous shove, and when Ken caught up to the buggy, he gave it a bump of his own. But this bump proved to be costly, as Ken could not catch back up to the buggy before it went into the freeroll. He made a last-ditch effort to give the buggy a shove by diving for the buggy, but injured himself when he landed on the street. But the lack of a shove on Hill 2 mayhave cost PiKA the half second that they needed to win the 1991 race.

1992

Raceday: Prelims on Friday, April 10 at 7:30am; Finals on Saturday, April 11 at 7:30am

Sweepstakes Committee: Alexis dePlanque (Chair); Joanne Nicklas (Ass. Chair); Matt Adler (Safety); Chris Stengel (“Youngster”), Rhonda Strumminger (Design), Jeff Neistrun (“Voice of Reason”)

Men’s Results: (1) Spirit A – Shaka Zulu (2:07.39); (2) PiKA A – Cyclone (2:09.37); (3) SAE A – Takoohi (2:12.53); (4) PiKA B – Desperado (2:14.18); (5) PhiKap A – Secretariat (2:15.10); (6) SigNu A (2:15.85)

Women’s Results: (1) Spirit A – Vicious Flow (2:33.52 – COURSE RECORD); (2) Theta Xi A – Valkure (2:43.29);(3) PiKA A – Renegade (2:44.74); (4) PhiKap A (2:51.45); (5) SigNu A (2:56.33); (6) Spirit B (2:58.85)

Design Comp: (1) PhiKap – Secretariat; (2) Pioneers – Tsunami; (3) CIA – Conquest

Weather: Cloudy, 50-61 Degrees on Friday; Cloudy, 62-74 on Saturday

Buggy Book: 1992 Buggy Book Link

Prediction Score: 19/27 Men’s, 19/19 Women’s (Compubookie)

1992 was a year behind-the-scenes changes, as Sweepstakes revised the qualification rules and Student Senate revised their buggy funding policies. On the course, a new Women’s course record was set, as Spirit looked to reassert themselves across the board.

  • Buggy vs. Student Government, 1992 Edition.  After 2 years of a stagnant Sweepstakes budget, the Student Senate allocation for Sweepstakes skyrocketed in 1992, jumping from $11,110 to $15,950.  And according to the October 28, 1991 Tartan, Fringe petitioned for, and received, $3,000 from Student Senate to purchase materials “in order to complete a project during winter break, to meet Sweepstakes Committee requirements.”  But this report on Fringe may have ruffled some feathers, as shortly after this proposal was passed, the battle between fraternities and independents stuck its head into the Activities Fee debate again.  Fraternities argued that their Activities Fees were being used to fund their competition while fraternities are ineligible for Activities Fees, and some of the buggies being built with Activities Fee money cost $3,000-$7,000.  Succumbing to pressure from the fraternities, Student Senate again revamped their fiscal policy regarding the funding of Buggy organizations.  The new policy provided that Activities Fee funds could pay for no more than 25% of an organization’s buggy maintenance per year, and no more than 66% of the cost of a new buggy every 3 years.  In addition, Student Senate refused to allocate money to Buggy organizations (or any other organization) to replace stolen items.  Lastly, organizations were required to produce and run a buggy on their own, without the use of Activities Fees, for 1 year, before they would be eligible to receive any money from Student Senate, to help prevent funding buggies for a one-and-done team.
  • Safety Issues?  An editorial in the November 11, 1991 Tartan suggested that Sweepstakes was beginning to relax some of their emphasis on safety.  Although the editorial talked about the safety rules in general, calling out Sweepstakes for “making concessions under the pressure of organizations who want to practice as much as possible,” it seemed to actually be focused on Sweepstakes’ ability to close the roads for practices.  The editorial noted that on at least one recent occasion, bikers and joggers were seen on the course during rolls and were not quickly escorted away.  Sweepstakes Chair Alexis dePlanque took issue with this, in a sarcastic rebuttal the following week.  After noting that in the past, joggers and bikers have been allowed on the course because, technically, Sweepstakes isn’t legally allowed to stop them, she explained that the editorial had prompted some new procedures for barricaders.  Going forward, barricaders would be equipped not just with vests and flags, but also with “high caliber paint guns with laser scopes to clearly mark possible offenders”, and they would be required to attend “at least one class in Akido to facilitiate the removal of recalcitrant joggers.”  There would also be a new procedure for people parked within the course who wanted to leave; they would have be required to hire a helicopter to airlift their car off the course, and if they violated this policy, they would be forced to deal with the National Guard stationed at 100 yard intervals.  If only these measures were actually put in place…
  • Safety Rule Changes.  The truth, however, is that Sweepstakes did still pay close attention to the safety rules, and they spent 1992 fixing some of the safety provisions to eliminate ambiguity, which forced at least one organization, SDC, to revamp one of its buggies to comply with the new rules.  Sweepstakes also paid particular attention to the issues from 1991, which were largely caused by teams coming out for practice at the last minute and barely getting enough rolls to qualify, making the race itself unsafe and leading to a number of spins and other incidents.  Therefore, Sweepstakes modified the rules having to do with driver qualifications.  Experienced drivers were still required to have at least 10 rolls, with 5 in the buggy they would be driving on Raceday. But a new requirement was added for new drivers, who were required to have at least 15 rolls, with 10 in the buggy that they would be driving on Raceday.  New buggies were also required to have at least 10 rolls during practices, though due to a combination of snow and rain in the Spring of 1992 that cancelled 6 consecutive days of rolls, Sweepstakes lowered this number to 7.  But one unwritten change that Sweepstakes made in 1992 that there would be no exceptions granted to this rule.
  • Asian Student Association Gives Buggy A Try.  Every once in a while, an organization that already exists decides to try their hand at Buggy.  In 1992, that team was the Asian Student Association (ASA).  ASA built a feet-first buggy, which they named Torque.  It apparently wasn’t very fast, as Compubookie stated that Torque would win the award for losing to Limo.  Unfortunately, due to bad weather throughout the spring, we don’t believe that they got enough rolls in to actually qualify for Raceday.  But we do have a photo of their buggy!
1992 – ASA never made it to a Raceday, but we do have this rare photo of their very unique feet-first buggy (from the 04-13-1992 Tartan)
  • New Buggies of 1992. ASA wasn’t the only organization building a buggy in 1992. DTD built a new buggy named Vexation. Fringe must have envied PhiKap’s Secretariat, because they built their own buggy named after a champion racehorse, Genuine Risk. KDR released their demons with the creation of Pandora. PiKA once again came out with 2 new buggies, Cyclone and Mach II. Pioneers planned to ride a wave to the top with their new buggy, Tsunami. SigTau added a new buggy after just 1 year with Spitfire. And 3 organizations built some long-lasting buggies: CIA added to their stable of dropping pushbar-capable buggies by building Conquest, Spirit built Shaka Zulu, and SigNu discovered their template for the future with the versatile King of Spades.
  • Predictions.  Compubookie played it super safe in 1992, predicting just a Top 3 in Men’s and a Top 2 in women’s.  On the Men’s side, he went with (1) Spirit A, (2) PiKA A, and (3) SDC A, while adding that SigNu A would finish no worse than 6th as long as the held on to the Pushbar, and that Pioneers would finish in the Top 10  On the Women’s side, he selected (1) Spirit A, and (2) Theta Xi A.
  • Beta Struggles To Reach Raceday.  Beta took a big hit in 1992, but it was a bit unexpected.  According to the April 19, 1993 Tartan, Beta’s A team buggy suffered a catastrophic failure, as it split into 2 pieces shortly before Raceday 1992.  That damage was too extensive to fix in time for the races, and Beta was forced to scratch from Raceday, skipping 1992 entirely.
  • Heats.  The 1992 Buggy Book does not contain the Heat Schedule.  So while we work to update our database, we thought we’d include it here:
    • Women’s
      1. PhiKap B, CIA A, Pioneers C
      2. SigNu B, Theta Xi B, Fringe C
      3. Spirit B, Theta Xi C, KDR A
      4. PiKA B, Pioneers B, DU A
      5. DTD A, ATO A, CIA B
      6. KapSig A, Fringe A, SDC A
      7. Theta Xi A, Pioneers A, SigTau A
      8. PiKA A, PhiKap A, SigNu A
      9. Spirit A, Fringe B, ATO B
    • Men’s
      1. DU C
      2. PiKA D, Fringe C, Pioneers C
      3. KDR B, CIA B
      4. Theta Xi B, SigNu C
      5. Spirit C, KapSig A, SDC C
      6. SAE B, PiKA C, DU A
      7. SigNu B, Fringe A, KDR C
      8. PhiKap A, CIA A
      9. Spirit B, SDC B, ATO B
      10. PiKA B, PiLam A, Pioneers B
      11. SAE A, Theta Xi A, DU B
      12. SigNu A, KDR A, Fringe B
      13. ATO A, DTD A, PhiKap B
      14. PiKA A, SDC A, SigTau A
      15. Spirit A, Pioneers A, Theta Xi C
  • Women’s Heat 4.  The most interesting, and from a fan perspective exciting, heat of the day come on the Women’s side, in Prelims Heat 4.  That heat pitted PiKA B’s Predator against Pioneers B’s Tsunami and DU A.  The race itself was very close.  We don’t know who was in the lead, but it appears that PiKA may have not gone into the freeroll first.  However, their buggy was the fastest of the 3, and because of that, driver Kristin Miljus had to pass the other buggies.  Unfortuantely, she couldn’t make the pass cleanly, and bumped into both Pioneers’ and DU’s buggies.  The Pioneers buggy was damaged in the collision, resulting in a subpar Men’s roll (where it entered the freeroll second but finished the freeroll well behind in 3rd).  PiKA B was DQ’d for interference, as the judges ruled that PiKA had intentionally made contact with the other two buggies, and both Pioneers B and DU A were granted rerolls.  But the drama wasn’t over there.  For some reason, Pioneers B and DU A rerolled against each other, and much like they were close the first time, they were close again the second time.  And this second time, once again, Pioneers and DU bumped each other as they turned into the Chute.  But in a change, this time the bump was deemed to be nobody’s fault, and both teams were granted a second reroll.  And in the second reroll, the buggies were finally able to finish without issue, though neither buggy’s time was enough to crack the top half of all teams.
  • Men’s Finals.  On the Men’s side, most of the excitement came in the final heat of the Men’s Finals.  Spirit A’s Shaka Zulu came into Saturday with the fastest time, so they ran in the last heat, paired with SigNu A’s King of Spades, who was in 6th.  The prelim times for the buggies were 8 seconds apart, but in the Finals, the two buggies stayed much closer (this may be because, as Mark Estes notes, Spirit may have swapped front hill pushers from the Prelims to the Finals).  The two were neck-and-neck up the front hills and went into the freeroll side by side.  The official report says that the buggies “bumped” each other at the start of the freeroll.  But thanks to Mark Estes in the comments below, we know that this was more than a bump. Shaka Zulu’s rear wheels were running with fairings, and because of the thick design around the wheel axles, the back of Shaka Zulu created an “armpit” between the slightly-extended rear wheels and the body of the buggy. King of Spades, meanwhile, had its wheels fully enclosed within the buggy. When they made contact, the back end of King of Spades essentially locked into the “armpit” of Shaka Zulu. This created an effect where, as Mark Estes puts it, “they gave each other unwanted lap dances all the way around the course.” But the ultimate result was that both buggies went through the freeroll very slowly. Spirit requested a reroll, arguing that they were interfered with by SigNu, and according to Mark, SigNu also requested a reroll.  SigNu argued that Spirit should not be granted a reroll, claiming that SigNu has the best drivers and that Spirit fouled them, as the SigNu buggy was in front of the Spirit buggy at the point of contact. However, Sweepstakes decided to grant both reroll requests because the problem at the top of Hill 2 was simply an unfortunate result of the drivers taking their lines.  In the reroll, Spirit blitzed the field, going on to win in a time of 2:07.39.
  • King and Queen of the Hill.  Both the King and Queen of the Hill titles belonged to Spirit A.  Men’s Hill 1 pusher Chris Cyrus earned the honor during the Spirit A Finals Reroll, while Women’s Hill 1 pusher Jennetta Wilcox did it in her scheduled Finals heat.
  • Other Incidents.  Raceday 1992 was relatively clean for the number of teams competing.  On the Women’s side, other than the PiKA B DQ, there were only 2 other known incidents.  KapSig A was DQ’d for failing drops, and Theta Xi B earned a DNF after it blew a tire during the race.  On the Men’s side, two buggies spun out during Prelims – DU A and Spirit C.  SAE B, which we think was the Limo team, also earned a DNF, but the Tartan only gives the reason as “stopped”.  And on the disappointment side, both Fringe A and KDR A were DQ’d during the Prelims when their Hill 5 pushers were unable to catch up to the buggy as it crossed the finish line, earning Pushbar DQs.  Meanwhile, Spirit B took an even bigger hit, losing a 3rd place time in the Finals due to a DQ of an unknown reason.

1993

Raceday: Prelims on Friday, April 16 at 7:30am; Finals on Saturday, April 17 at 7:30am

Sweepstakes Committee: Alexis dePlanque (Chair); Chris Stengel (Ass. Chair); Matt Adler (Safety); Rhonda Strumminger (Design)

Men’s Results: (1) Spirit A – Shaka Zulu (2:10.43); (2) PiKA A – Maverick (2:11.26); (3) Beta A – Evenflow (2:14.19); (4) PhiKap A – Secretariat (2:14.34); (5) SigNu A – Jama (2:14.93); (6) Spirit B – Tachyon (2:18.18)

Women’s Results: (1) PiKA B – Maverick (2:38.69); (2) PhiKap A – Secretariat (2:49.29);(3) Spirit B – Vicious Flow (2:50.59); (4) Theta Xi A (2:51.40); (5) Theta Xi B (2:59.01); (6) Spirit A – Shaka Zulu (DQ – Lane Violation)

Design Comp: (1) PhiKap – Secretariat; (2) SigNu – King of Spades; (3) Pioneers – Hyperion

Other Awards: T-Shirt Design: (1) Spirit, (2) SigNu

Weather: Cloudy with occasional drizzle, 56-61 Degrees on Friday; Cloudy with occasional icy drizzle, 40-44 on Saturday

Buggy Book: 1993 Buggy Book Link

Prediction Score: 28/55 Men’s, 0/27 Women’s (Compubookie)

1993 saw a few organizations take a break from buggy, some drama on the Women’s side, and “The Crash Heard ‘Round The World”.

  • Buggy vs. Student Government, 1993 Edition.  The battle between Buggy and Student Government over funding raged on in 1993, though this time it wasn’t completely driven by fraternity complaints (though the fraternities still voiced their objections to paying both their own dues, which support their organizations, and the activities fee, which funds the independents).  Instead, Student Senate was motivated by a shortage of funds.  It appears that the Activities Fee wasn’t quite keeping up with the number of student organizations, and Student Senate was worried that they would not be able to fund special or emergency requests from organizations.  So the Sweepstakes budget was actually lowered, from an initial request of $16,450 down to $15,850, and the policy around funding buggy organizations was changed again.  The new policy kept the percentage of funds provided by Student Senate for buggy maintenance at 25%, but lowered the percentage for funding a new buggy from 67% to 50%.  In addition, Student Senate lengthened the waiting period for funding a new buggy from 3 years to 4 years.  Of course, the independent organizations were not happy about this.  Fringe’s chair pointed out that based on the $500,000-$600,000 in funds that Student Senate was allocating, the cost of funding booth and buggy for an independent organization is less than 1% of the total.
  • Buggy vs. GSIA.  The building now re-known as Posner Hall (and recently known as Tepper) was referred to as GSIA in the early 1990s.  And in the 1990s, much like today, Buggy people liked to wait inside GSIA during the mornings of rolls in order to keep warm.  But this partnership wore thin in 1992-1993.  The November 9, 1992 Tartan notes that GSIA officially barred buggy teams from using GSIA to keep warm during rolls.  The ban began when a front desk attendant reported mischievous conduct and alleged minor thefts by fraternities using the front lobby.  The incidents were reported to Sweepstakes twice, with the GSIA front desk attendant claiming that the guilty organization was PiKA.  PiKA denied involvement, but Sweepstakes was able to convince GSIA that the incidents would not happen again, resulting in the building eventually being reopened to Buggy participants.
  • Buggy Burglary. The September 20, 1993 Tartan includes a Crime & Incident report involving buggy. On September 10, at 2:16pm, an unidentified buggy organization reported that their garage had been broken into. The thief had drilled a hole under the garage door handle, causing the spring to release and opening the door. 9 buggy wheels and 12 buggy tires were stolen from the organization, which were collectively valued at approximately $1,000. The Tartan reports that a similar incident happened to the same organization roughly 1 year earlier.
  • Another Rough Roll Period.  GSIA wasn’t the only thing causing issues with rolls.  In the fall, rolls were scheduled every weekend from October 9-10 to November 6-7, but the October 16-17 rolls were cancelled due to timing issues with the permits. Bad weather in the Spring resulted in some rolls being cancelled, making it tough for new drivers to qualify.  There were also issues with permits and disputes over the number of teams rolling on weekends.  And of course, the road conditions continued to deteriorate, with potholes giving buggy drivers fits.
  • End of the Road for ATO.  The golden years of ATO in Buggy had long since passed, but the fraternity was still consistently fielding a team.  That era came to an end in 1993.  On February 3, 1993, the University Committee on Discipline voted to evict ATO from student housing until the Fall of 1994 following some “destructive and rude behavior” and disorderly conduct that violated administrative rules. The fraternity did not lose recognition from CMU or the national organization, but the eviction was enough to keep them out of Buggy in 1993.  And that seemed to be the death knell for ATO, as they apparently went inactive following the 1993 school year, ending their run participating in Buggy.
  • Organizational Shifts.  ATO wasn’t the only organization to give up Buggy in 1993.  ASA never did get a chance to actually race on a Raceday, as they gave up after their 1992 attempt and did not come back for 1993.  KapSig also dropped out for the 1993 year.  Meanwhile, on the Women’s side, after getting beat by Theta Xi in 1992, PiKA decided to turn from the sisters of Kappa Alpha Theta to the members of the CMU Women’s Soccer team to push their buggies.
  • New Buggies of 1993. Several new teams rolled out new buggies in 1993. Beta had some huge Pearl Jam fans in the house so it’s no surprise that their new buggy came with the name Evenflow. DTD brought out two new buggies, Darkstar and Icculus. KDR got around a bit with their new buggy, Promiscuous. PhiKap took pleasure from other buggy teams’ pain when they built their new buggy, Schadenfreude. PiKA dropped to just 1 new buggy, producing Maverick. Pioneers came out with a new buggy, Hyperion. SDC decided that their previous animal-named buggies were too slow, so they sped things up a bit with Wombat. And SigNu decided that a Pope wasn’t enough to will them to the top, so they reached back further and built Ten Commandments.
  • Predictions.  Compubookie was back to a full slate of predictions in 1993, listing a Top 10 in Men’s and a Top 3 in Women’s.  On the Men’s side, he went with (1) Spirit A, (2) PiKA A, (3) SigNu A, (4) Spirit B, (5) Beta A, (6) PhiKap A, (7) SDC A, (8) PiKA B, (9) Theta Xi A, and (10) DTD A.  On the Women’s side, he predicted (1) Spirit A, (2) Theta Xi A, and (3) PiKA A.
  • Push Practice Problem.  A letter to the editor in the April 19, 1993 Tartan expressed concern with a decision made by Sweepstakes regarding Push Practice.  According to the letter, 7 organizations failed to pick up their fire extinguishers for rolls on Truck Weekend.  Due to this failure, Sweepstakes made to decision to punish those organizations by barring them from Push Practice until 3am for the entire week before Carnival. The letter argued that the punishment was “inhumane and totally unreasonable”, though with the importance of safety in Buggy, and particularly the fire safety rules, the punishment wasn’t particularly surprising.
  • Cold and Rainy.  Weather continued to be a looming threat over Raceday 1993, with an icy “drizzle” (aka hail) in the forecast for both days.  Luckily, this rain/hail mostly waited until the races ended, and both days were able to go off successfully. But the hail did make a brief appearance on Saturday, which provided a bit of luck to one team (see below).
  • The Crash Heard ‘Round The World.  The biggest story of Raceday 1993 came in the form of an incident that, according to the April 19, 1993 Tartan, “came to be known among buggy circles as ‘The Crash’.”  In what we believe was the Men’s Heats (we don’t have a Heat Schedule for 1993), PhiKap B’s Centennial took on CIA’s Conquest and Beta B’s Mercury.  The three buggies were all rolling through the Freeroll close together with (we believe) Beta B slightly in the lead. As they approached the Monument, CIA made a move to pass Beta B.  But as the CIA buggy made the pass attempt, it made contact with the PhiKap buggy.  The PhiKap buggy spun out, and it appears that the buggies got very close to crashing into the Monument.  Thankfully, neither did and no one was injured.  Both CIA and PhiKap were granted rerolls.
  • A Bit of Racing Luck. PiKA managed to have two of their Men’s buggies qualify for Finals – the A team, with the 2nd fastest time, and the C team, with the 7th fastest time. Normally, those two teams would be required to face each other in the Finals, but to avoid having the same organization run both of its buggies in one heat, PiKA C’s Renegade swapped their heat and ended up paired with Spirit B’s Tachyon. And it gives us this amazing story of luck from Andy Bordick, shared in the comments below and reposted here (lightly edited):
    • Chris Frye and Andy Bordick were prepping the PiKA buggies on Friday night. They were checking and lubricating the steering on Renegade, a standard trike. When they tried to put the fork pivot bolt back in, the nut wouldn’t hold the bolt, because the bolt was old and basically had stripped. So they found another bolt in the buggy room and dropped it in the buggy. The steering looked perfect, but they couldn’t check because nobody gets to touch the wheels except the “wheel man”.
    • On Saturday morning, they were in the truck. As they loaded the driver in Renegade, Ted (the “wheel man”) starts putting on the wheels. But he couldn’t get the front wheel on. The new bolt was about an eighth of an inch longer that the other one, and it was preventing the wheel from fitting. Chris and Andy were in the truck and Ted looked at them with fire coming out of his eyes. Chris and Andy looked at each other, after a few puzzled seconds, they recalled their work from the previous night. Suddenly, both turned green and just sat there shocked. There was only about 1 minute 30 seconds until the starting gun, and they couldn’t get this buggy to roll. (Andy’s note: if anyone knows Teddo, he lost his mind on us).
    • Suddenly, a miracle happened. What natural event could occur during buggy that would delay the race, but not cancel the day? Streakers? Flash mob? Locusts? No, none of that happened. As they sat there, holding back vomit, they heard a little tick, tick, tick on the roof of the UHaul. Then it got thunderous. It had started to hail. Hail is good, hail delays things, but is generally short lived, and (most importantly) doesn’t wet the road too much. Sweepstakes called a 15 minute delay. Chris and Andy were able to reverse the bolt, so the head of the bolt was on the wheel side and Teddo could fit the wheel on.
  • Spirit B Ware.  But what works as one team’s good luck becomes another’s bad luck. In the race, PiKA C actually beat Spirit B through the freeroll. But Spirit B was catching up, and their buggy, Tachyon, tried to pass PiKA C’s Renegade as the buggies approached Hill 4. As it caught up, the buggies nearly collided, causing Spirit B to hit the brakes. Tachyon reportedly began to roll backwards as it approached Hill 4. As Andy Bordick sums up: “it seriously messed with Spirit B, which was very gratifying. And Teddo didn’t have to kill us that night.”
  • A Slow Luxury. Based on our records, SAE didn’t earn an official time in 1993.  But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t race.  As far as we can tell, SAE was able to get 1 buggy out to the course for Raceday…and it was Limo.  But Limo wasn’t rolling particularly fast, and it was having trouble getting through the freeroll.  The buggy was traveling so slow, in fact, that according to the April 19, 1993 Tartan, the buggy required pushers to help it make it through the flags.  And once the pushers took over, the follow car got so frustrated that it went around Limo.
1993 – SAE loads their A team buggy, Limo (from the 1993 Thistle)
  • PiKA Women Reorder. The PiKA A Women’s team began Raceday 1993 by pushing the Men’s B buggy, Desperado, during Prelims. They finished in a time of 2:41.87. Meanwhile, the PiKA Women’s B team pushed the Men’s A buggy, Maverick, and ran a 2:43.24. This made it clear to PiKA that Maverick, was the faster of the two buggies, and for PiKA to have a chance to beat Spirit, they would need their A team pushing the faster buggy. However, after PiKA’s manipulation of the rosters in the 1980s, teams were no longer allowed to swap push teams. So PiKA made the decision to sacrifice their B team in order to win. They replaced the entire Women’s B pusher roster with the Women’s A team pushers, leaving the official “Women’s A” team with no pushers available. The result was that PiKA Women’s A, with Desperado, did not race during the Finals. But PiKA Women’s B, pushed by the A team pushers, picked up 3 seconds, finishing in a time of 2:38.69. This created a great deal of controversy, but was just another example of PiKA exploiting the rules to their benefit.
  • Women’s Results.  As far as we can tell, Spirit A held a 3 second lead heading into the Finals, and they looked poised to win yet another Women’s trophy.  That all changed in their final race, however, as the buggy, Shaka Zulu, came out of its lane on the front hills and was DQ’d for a Lane Violation.  This resulted in PiKA B’s Maverick, being pushed by the A team pushers (see above), earning the victory.  As we work to update our database, the final Women’s results were (1) PiKA B – 2:38.69; (2) PhiKap A – 2:49.29; (3) Spirit B – 2:50.59; (4) Theta Xi A – 2:51.40; (5) Theta Xi B – 2:59.01.
  • Men’s Results.  The Men’s races didn’t have too much excitement during the Finals.  It reportedly seemed close as Spirit A reached Hill 5, but a strong Hill 5 push lead to a 1 second victory.  But while we update our databse, the Top 10 was: (1) Spirit A – 2:10.43; (2) PiKA A – 2:11.26; (3) Beta A – 2:14.19; (4) PhiKap A – 2:14.34; (5) SigNu A – 2:14.93; (6) Spirit B – 2:18.18; (7) PiKA C – 2:18.36; (8) CIA A – 2:20.38; (9) Pioneers A – 2:21.40; (10) PhiKap B – 2:21.51.
  • Spirit A’s Winning Run. Here is video from the lead truck of Spirit A’s victory race.
1993 – Spirit A races to victory in the Finals
  • 1990 Photos. Below are a number of photos that we have from 1990:
1990 – SigNu D’s Lemur spins in the Chute (from the 04-24-1990 Tartan)
1990 – The aftermath of SigNu D’s Lemur spinning in the Chute (from the 04-24-1990 Tartan)
1990 – The Starting Line of what we believe is Women’s Finals Heat 3, with Fringe A’s buggy (we’re guessing Junior) in Lane 1 and PiKA A’s Desperado in Lane 2 (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – Hill 1 of an unknown Women’s heat that we think is Prelims Heat 4 (from the 1991 Thistle). If correct, Lane 3 (right) is AFROTC A’s Stratofortress, Lane 2 (middle) is Pioneers A, and Lane 1 (left) is Spirit B.
1990 – An unidentified buggy approaching Hill 3 (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – Spirit transitions on the back hills (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – Spirit Men D’s Genesis races on the back hills (from the 04-24-1990 Tartan)
1990 – Theta Xi Men’s D gets pushed up Hill 5 (from the 04-24-1990 Tartan)
1990 – An unidentified buggy gets pushed up Hill 2 in Lane 3 (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – An unidentified buggy gets pushed to the Finish Line in the Women’s races (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – SDC’s Terrapin gets pushed on the back hills during the Men’s heats (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – Fringe’s buggy Junior gets carried to Push Practice (from the 04-17-1990 Tartan)
1990 – Fringe’s Tom Chimielenski and Sunny Patel load driver Lisa Wang into Junior during push practice (from the 04-17-1990 Tartan)
1990 – Fringe’s Lunatic is pushed up Hill 3 by Darrell Kauric during Push Practice (from the 04-17-1990 Tartan)
1990 – Fringe pushers Mike Gulich and Bert Roberts practice their transitions in the Baker parking lot (from the 04-17-1990 Tartan)
1990 – Fringe Buggy Chair Tom Chimielenski waiting with his buggies during practice (from the 04-17-1990 Tartan)
1990 – Fringe’s Buggy Chair Dave Henderson conducts his pre-roll course walk with Fringe drivers Carisa Swiss and Lisa Wang and mechanic Bruce Pollock (from the 04-17-1990 Tartan)
1990 – Fringe Driver Lisa Wang waits for her next practice roll (from the 04-17-1990 Tartan)
1990 – Fringe pusher Amy Blake and driver Lisa Wang in Junior wait on Hill 2 to begin a pass test (from the 04-17-1990 Tartan)
1990 – Fringe at Design Comp (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent). From left to right: Lunatic, Junior, Barrier
1990 – Fringe at Design Comp (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent). From left to right: Lunatic, Junior, Barrier
1990 – Fringe at Design Comp (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent). From from the back: Lunatic, Junior, Barrier (AFROTC’s Stratofortress in the background)
1990 – AFROTC’s Stratofortress at Design Comp (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent)
1990 – CIA Asst. Push Captain Conrad Zapanta (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent)
1990 – Beta at Design Competition (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent). The buggies from front to back: Xavier’s Revenge (black with red), Challenger (green), Mercury (silver), Reignmaker (black). The SigNu people are Ryan Foran and Jeff Dowley (who’s’ masterful bodywork played a part in several zoo design awards)
1990 – Beta at Design Competition (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent). Buggies from front to back: Reignmaker (black), Mercury (silver), Challenger (green), Xavier’s Revenge (black), with Stan Marshall standing guard
1990 – A crowd shot of Hill 1 from the top of Maggie Mo (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – Hill 1 of what we believe in Men’s Prelims Heat 7, with SigNu C’s Colugo in Lane 1, DU A’s Garganey in Lane 2, and PhiKap D’s Duke in Lane 3 (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – AFROTC carries their buggy, Stratofortress, to the Starting LIne (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – Hill 1 with unidentified buggies (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – PiKA Men’s A pushes Vengeance on Hill 1 (from the 04-24-1990 Tartan)
1990 – PiKA Men’s A’s Vengeance approaches the Finish Line in victory (from the 04-24-1990 Tartan)
1990 – PiKA pushes up the Back Hills (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – PiKA Men’s B Hill 5 pusher Rich McCance is consoled after failing to catch up to the buggy at the Finish Line and earning a Pushbar DQ (from the 04-24-1990 Tartan)
1990 – PiKA Women’s A transitions Desperado from Hill 4 to Hill 5 (from the 04-24-1990 Tartan)
1990 – PiKA Alumni take their turn during Exhibitions (from the 04-24-1990 Tartan)
1990 – An unidentified buggy that we believe belongs to KDR drives through the Chute (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – KDR carries Prometheus into Design Competition judging (from the 04-24-1990 Tartan)
1990 – An unidentified buggy, possibly from KDR, waiting for Capes (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – An unidentified buggy that we believe belongs to KDR goes through Capes (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – A PhiKap buggy is pushed by Dina Frederickson on Hill 5 during practice (from the 04-17-1990 Tartan)
1990 – SDC’s Banzai on display at the Activities Fair (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – An unidentified buggy gets worked on by a mechanic (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – The WRCT booth on Raceday (from the 1990 Thistle)
1990 – PiKA at Design Comp (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent). From left to right: Predator, Desperado, Vengeance, King Solomon
1990 – KDR at Design Comp (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent). From left to right: Puma, Prometheus (1990 Design winner), and Phoenix
1990 – Sweepstakes Chair Erica Levy (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent)
1990 – CIA Buggy Chair Bill Swarm (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent)
1990 – CIA’s Defiant/#9 gets pushed (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent)
1990 – Ruth Spanos (nee Delano) “pushing” the buggy that she drove, Stealth (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent)
1990 – SigNu carrying Jama to the Design Judging (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by hvincent).
1993 – CIA at Design Competition, with Conquest (foreground) and Spectre (background) (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Abby)
1990 – CIA’s Spectre at Design Competition (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Abby)
  • 1991 Photos. Below are some photos from 1991:
1991 – The starting line of an unknown heat from Maggie Mo (from the 04-22-1991 Tartan)
1991 – An unidentified buggy spins in the Chute (from the 04-22-1991 Tartan)
1991 – Spirit (with an unidentified buggy) races up the Back Hills (from the 1992 Thistle)
1991 – Starting Line of Men’s Prelims Heat 11, with Brad Probert pushing (and tripping) for PhiKap D (likely Duke) in Lane 3 (far left), Mike Lum pushing for SigNu B (likely Jerboa) in Lane 2 (middle), and Joe Harrelson pushing for Spirit B (Tachyon) in Lane 1 (right) (from the 04-22-1991 Tartan)
1991 – PiKA’s buggies on display during Design Competition (from the 04-22-1991 Tartan). From left to right: Jacquelyn Cuccaro, Dave Conley, and Mark D’Costa.
1991 – PiKA Women’s A team, comprised of sisters of Kappa Alpha Theta, pose in front of their victory-displaying scoreboard (from the 1992 Thistle)
1991 – SDC Men’s A team posing in front of their 4th place finish (from the BAA Gallery, provided by Serena (Chan) Saw)
1991 – Spirit Men’s C’s Quantum Leap is pushed on Hill 5 by Ivan Charles (from the 04-22-1991 Tartan)
1991 – Fringe’s Hill 4 pusher Sandrine Danielson transitions Barrier to Hill 5 pusher Julie Chiu (from the 04-22-1991 Tartan)
1991 – PiKA Women’s A Hill 3 pusher Thea Brandfon transitions Renegade to Hill 4 pusher Jacquelyn Cuccaro (from the 04-22-1991 Tartan)
1991 – KDR B’s Hill 3 pusher Alex Kim transitions Prometheus to Hill 4 pusher Steve Maliszewski in Men’s Prelims Heat 5 (from the 04-22-1991 Tartan)
1991 – Pioneers Men’s Hill 3 pusher Mike Lucas transitions Turmoil to Hill 4 pusher Hiroshi Howell (from the 04-22-1991 Tartan)
1991 – Pioneers Women’s A Hill 5 pusher Theresa Chang pushes Turmoil towards the finish line (from the 04-22-1991 Tartan)
1991 – PiLam A’s Legend enters the Chute in their return from a 1 year absence (from the 1992 Thistle)
1991 – Theta Xi’s Nemesis is pushed up the back hills during practice (from the 03-08-1991 Tartan)
1991 – An unidentified buggy is pushed up Hill 1 during practice (from the 04-15-1991 Tartan)
1991 – SDC Team photo (from the BAA Gallery, provided by Serena (Chan) Saw)
1991 – SigNu’s redesigned small-body Jama (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Abby)
  • 1992 Photos. Below are a few photos from 1992:
1992 – A Spirit Women’s team pushes their buggy up Hill 1 (from the 04-13-1992 Tartan)
1992 – Spirit A Hill 5 pusher Chad Darby pushes Shaka Zulu to victory (from the 04-13-1992 Tartan)
1992 – Spirit celebrates their sweep of Men’s and Women’s races (from the 04-13-1992 Tartan)
1992 – SDC Women’s A’s Escargot is pushed by Serena (Chan) Saw in Lane 3 (foreground) of Prelims Heat 6, with Fringe A in Lane 2 (middle) and KapSig A in Lane 1 (far background) (from the BAA Gallery, provided by Serena (Chan) Saw)
1992 – SigNu’s King of Spades on the front hills of a Reroll (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by wolfman)
1992 – Jama with its small body enters the Chute (from the BAA Gallery, provided by Duane Delaney)
1992 – Sweepstakes Committee (from the 04-13-1992 Tartan). From left to right: Chris Stengel (“Youngster”), Alexis dePlanque (Chair), Matt Adler (Safety Chair), Ray Fratto (Head Judge)
1992 – A photo of the crowd gathering on Hill 1 (from the 04-13-1992 Tartan)
1992 – PiKA A’s Cyclone is pushed up Hill 1 by Rick Hall in Lane 1, with an unidentified buggy in Lane 2 (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Andy Bordick)
1992 – KDR at Design Competition (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Abby)
1992 – PiKA at Design Comp (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Abby). From front to back: Desperado, Cyclone, Renegade, King Solomon.
  • 1993 Photos Below are some photos that we have from 1993:
1993 – PiKA Women’s “B”, with their A team pushers, pushing Maverick in Lane 1 (left) and Spirit Women’s B with Vicious Flow in Lane 2 (right) on Hill 1 of what we believe is Women’s Finals Heat 2 (from the 1993 Thistle)
1993 – Closeup shot of a buggy that we believe might be Spirit’s Vicious Flow (from the 1993 Thistle)
1993 – Spirit makes the transition from Hill 4 to Hill 5 (from the 04-19-1993 Tartan)
1993 – Spirit pushes Vicious Flow up Hill 5 (from the 04-19-1993 Tartan)
1993 – Pioneers and an unidentified buggy make the Hill 1-2 transition (from the 04-19-1993 Tartan)
1993 – An unidentified buggy is placed down at the starting line (from the 1993 Thistle)
1993 -Pioneers’ Turmoil is pushed up Hill 5 (from the 1993 Thistle)
1993 – Pioneers’ Turmoil is pushed up Hill 5 (from the 1993 Thistle)
1993 – PiKA FOADs (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Sam Swift)
1993 – PiKA Full Team (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Sam Swift)
1993 – PiKA Women’s team (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Sam Swift)
1993 – Fringe at Design Comp (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Abby)
1993 – Beta crosses the Finish Line with what we believe is their newest buggy, Evenflow, being pushed by the A team (from the 1993 Thistle)
1993 – PiKA Women’s A Hill 3 pusher Sonya Chmielnicki transitions their buggy, Desperado, to Hill 4 pusher Tina Isaly in the 1993 Prelims (from the 04-19-1993 Tartan). The A team pushers (minus Hill 5 pusher Julie Paul) would go on to push the B team buggy, Maverick, in the Finals
1993 – PiKA’s Hill 2 pusher (right) shoves his buggy into the freeroll and dives, while Spirit’s Hill 2 pusher (left) runs further (from the 04-19-1993 Tartan)
1993 – PhiKap’s Centennial is transitioned on the back hills (from the 1993 Thistle)
1993 – SigNu’s King of Spades gets shoved into the freeroll (from the 04-19-1993 Tartan)
1993 – Starting Line with PhiKap in Lane 1 (left), an unidentified buggy (possibly Fringe) in Lane 2, and SAE A’s Limo in Lane 3 (from the 1993 Thistle)
1993 – An unidentified buggy is pushed up Hill 1 during practice (from the 04-12-1993 Tartan)
1993 – SDC Team photo (from the BAA Gallery, provided by Serena (Chan) Saw)
1993 – PiKA Men’s A Team (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Sam Swift)
1993 – PiKA Men’s B Team (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Sam Swift)
1993 – PiKA Men’s C Team (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Sam Swift)
1993 – CIA’s Conquest (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Abby)

12 thoughts on “100 Years of Buggy History – 1990-1993”

  • The first 1993 photo is PiKA (Maverick?) vs Spirit (Vicious Flow).
    I’d forgotten that Mad Dog wasn’t the first of their sequence of reverse trikes.
    Interesting that for most teams (except Fringe) one can draw a line from current buggies back to what they were doing in 91-93.
    What happened to Beta that they went from having a D-team to none in two years?

  • A few notes. In 1992, when the Pika Women’s B hit those buggies, it was Kristin’s first year driving and she was not very aggressive. It was funny that she chose raceday to turn Predator into a bumper car.

    In the photos for 1993, there is a photo of Sonya exchanging with Christina, pushing Desperado. That was Womens’ A team on day 1. They rolled Desperado, and after seeing how Maverick rolled and looking for a victory, the decision was made to swap our A and B Team pushers to get them on the faster buggy. While that decision looked good after they won, it was at several sacrifices. First, the driver, Kristin Miljus, was scratched in Desperado, and she definitely put the time in to deserve her spot. Second, since the rule change limits substituting only 4 pushers, one of the B team pushers had to stay and 1 of the A team pushers had to go. In this case, Nicole Poisson stayed on for “B Team” hill 5 and Julie Paul, who was a very dedicated and very fast pusher, had to sit, losing her chance at a medal.

  • I think this was 1993, but could use some corroboration if anybody can help me (this may have been 1992). There was a miraculous event that occurred in our Truck.

    Chris Frye and I were prepping the buggies on Friday night. We were checking and lubricating the steering on Renegade, a standard trike. When we tried to put the fork pivot bolt back in, the nut wouldn’t hold the bolt, the bolt was old and basically had stripped. So we find another bolt in the buggy room and drop it in there. The steering looked perfect, but we couldn’t check because nobody, and I mean nobody, gets to touch the wheels except the wheel man.

    Next day, we’re in the truck, we get the driver in, and Ted starts putting on the wheels. Well, he can’t get the front wheel on. The new bolt was about an eighth of an inch longer that the other one, and it was preventing the wheel from fitting. Chris and I were in the truck and Ted just looked at us, and I swear, fire came out of his eyes. Chris and I looked at each other, after a few puzzled seconds, and recalled our work from the previous night. I swear to you, I think we both turned green and just sat there shocked. We probably had about 1 min 30 seconds until the starting gun, and we couldn’t get this buggy to roll. (if anyone knows Teddo, he lost his mind on us)

    Then the miracle happened. What natural event could occur during buggy that would delay the race, but not cancel the day? Streakers? Flash mob? Locusts? No, none of that happened. As we sat there, holding back vomit, we heard a little tick, tick, tick on the roof of the UHaul. Then it got thunderous. It had started to hail. Hail is good, hail delays things, but is generally short lived, and (most importantly) doesn’t wet the road too much. I think they called a 15 minute delay.

    Chris and I were able to reverse the bolt, so the head of the bolt was on the wheel side and Teddo could fit the wheel on. While I think that buggy only took 7th place, I think it seriously messed with Spirit B, which was very gratifying. And Teddo didn’t have to kill us that night.

    • It’s also miraculous that we’re hearing about anything that went on in the PiKA truck! The human details are what make this event so much more memorable than the box score, so please keep them coming!

      • I can’t agree more. The whole reason I wanted to do this series was because even though we had the times and winners on the site (and occasionally info about DQs/spins), there’s so many little things that you don’t get from just seeing the results. I was hopeful that as we got into the era of active alums, we’d get more stories like this coming out, because these are the things that make Buggy not just a box score, but a community.

        As we get comments, I go back and update the posts, either to fix/revise things that we have gotten more information on, or to add new items. I’ve added all of the stories/information from these comments so far, including Bordick’s story above.

        And Bordick – Yes, it looks like you’re right and this was from 1993. It lines up with all of the other information I had (“icy drizzle”, Renegade going up against Spirit B, etc.)

  • Last update. The reverse Trike, Maverick, was a bit of a science project. In 1992, Jack Dipiazza, who would go on to be Pika Chairman in 1993, wanted to build a reverse trike, but the 1992 buggy chairman, Tom, didn’t like that idea. But he told Jack that he could build one as long as it didn’t get in the way of the new A team buggy. Now that year they build Cyclone, which was insanely light. It’s in my basement right now, I think with all hardware, wheels, straps, it only weighed 17 lbs. It was horribly under built and couldn’t even roll again. But Maverick was born in 1992, but didn’t roll until Fall 1993.

    In 1993, Jack and I built another buggy, Mach II. We learned some lessons during Fall Rolls and did some trials and made adjustments. The biggest goal was to get 3 smalls on that buggy. See, Maverick had to use a pneumatic on the rear wheel, or she would spin. Mach II was designed, and rolled with 3 smalls. Terry Lacuesta, our newest, smallest driver, would pilot Mach II. But the spring was terrible and we couldn’t qualify her, which pushed us to use Maverick for Men’s A.

    On a side, note, the 1993 Womens’ A team switch was born from the philosophy that Pika Mens’ A team is the most important roll that we had. We didn’t want any risk of accidents or anything else to disrupt Men’s A team, so historically, Pika Mens A buggy only rolled for Pika Mens A team. And the Men’s B team buggy would roll as the Women’s A team buggy. But with how things went that year, we decided to roll the Men’s A buggy with women’s B to give us the option.

  • re: 1991 Mens’ Finals and “…Pika pusher injured a finger…” Pika ‘A’ Hill 1 (Rick Hall) shoved Lone Wolf exceptionally well, Hill 2 (Ken Brickner) got a good bump on her, and that was it, he dove in a last ditch effort to get some semblance of a “shove” but only gave up the body to the road and injured a bit more than a finger. Off to the hospital he went. Lack of that shove showed in the roll time and we ended up ~1/2 sec off Spirit’s time a heat later. Pika vs Spirit continued…credit to some outstanding pushers on both teams.

  • To describe the interaction between Shaka Zulu and KOS in the 92 finals as a “bump” is a bit of an understatement. Shaka Zulu was running wheel fairings on the rear wheels that year and KOS’s wheels were fully enclosed. This meant there could be a lot of contact without wheels rubbing, and there was.

    The rear of KOS was essentially locked into the “armpit” between one of Shaka Zulu’s rear wheel ( right side I think) and the body. Thusly, they gave each other unwanted lap dances all the way around the course. Much speed lost due to the buggies pushing each other sideways. Neither yielding. The result was a very slow roll and a very long hill 3 for both teams. I do not recall if they actually finished the race or stopped on the back hills. I do recall that both teams got re-rolls although the Zoo argued that neither should or that given where the buggies were when they first hit, that they were leading at that moment that contact occurred (i.e. their tail was in front of the other buggy’s rear axle).

    I also recall that Spirit had done a pusher swap so the front hills in the finals were not the same as the preliminaries.

  • Mark….careful, you’re going to start a debate by some in favor of “run alone time trials” vs the long traditional race “run in heats” with head-to-head competition, potential competitor interaction, and all the strategy and tactics of racing. Then of course, you’ll get to the “everyone (except certain Greek orgs) awarded re-rolls for just about anything” discussion. Amazing how the meaning of the clearly written rules has been interpreted over the years. Both are actually good themes for a panel discussion, but divisive I’m sure.

  • In “1993 – An unidentified buggy is transitioned on the back hills (from the 1993 Thistle)”, that’s PhiKap’s Centennial.

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