Table of Contents: Intro & 1920; 1921-1923; 1924-1927; 1928-1932; 1933-1935; 1936-1939; 1940-1945; 1946-1949; 1950-1953; 1954-1956; 1957-1959; 1960-1963; 1964-1966; 1967-1969; 1970-1973; 1974-1976; 1977-1979; 1980-1983; 1984-1986; 1987-1989; 1990-1993; 1994-1996; 1997-1999; 2000-2003; 2004-2006; 2007-2009; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014; 2015; 2016; 2017; 2018; 2019; Recap & 2020
This week, the 100 Years of Buggy History series decides to brave the doomsday scenario of Y2K and advance to the early 2000s! This period brings the rise of modern times, known as the Xgsootr Era. It also brings the birth of cmuTV’s coverage of Buggy, meaning that we’ve finally got full Raceday videos to share! And two of the longest winning streaks in Buggy history finally got underway.
Raceday: Prelims on Friday, April 14 at 8:00am; Finals on Saturday, April 15 at 8:00am
Sweepstakes Committee: Debby Keller (Chair); Kim Worrilow (Ass. Chair); Michael Doherty (Safety); Scott Wabnitz (“Youngster”); Peter Wach (Design)
Men’s Results: (1) PiKA A – Zeus (2:07.41); (2) Fringe A – Bachi (2:11.65); (3) SDC A – Rage (2:12.94); (4) SigNu A (2:13.09); (5) KDR A – Penthus (2:13.31); (6) Pioneers A – Helios (2:15.62)
Women’s Results: (1) SDC A (2:35.79); (2) Fringe A (2:36.94);(3) PiKA A (2:38.29); (4) Spirit A (2:38.91); (5) CIA A (2:43.77); (6) KDR A (2:53.83)
Design Comp: (1) Fringe – Bachi/Bandit; (2) SAE – Rubicon; (3) Beta – Beast
Weather: Sunny, 47-68 Degrees on Friday; Sunny, 57-71 on Saturday
Buggy Book: 2000 Buggy Book Link
Prediction Score: 24/55 Men’s, 14/45 Women’s (Compubookie)
2000 finally brought a brief respite from the rain, but troubled rolls in the Spring brought safety issues to the forefront for Raceday.
- Student Activities Fee For Greek Organizations. After roughly a decade of complaints from the Greek community over the Activities Fee, in the Fall of 1999, Student Senate finally came up with a plan to alleviate the concerns. In the November 8, 1999 Tartan, the chair of the Joint Funding Committee announced that a recent modification to the Constitution of the Student Body was passed, allowing for “non-funded organizations” (such as fraternities and sororities) to request budgets for “funded activities” (such as Booth and Buggy). A pool of the Activities Fee was set aside by Student Government, and Greek organizations could request up to $500 to support their Booth and/or Buggy programs. Several teams took advantage of this policy change in its first year, as SAE, Beta, SigEp, and SigNu were each allocated $500 for their buggy programs.
- SigEp Officially Enters. Maybe buoyed by the Activities Fee allocation, after 3-4 years of dipping their toes into buggy by pushing for Fringe, in 2000 SigEp finally took the plunge and became their own full-fledged buggy organization. They built their first new buggy, Genesis, and clocked in with a respectable 2:36.88 (24th place) in the Men’s races and a 3:29.34 (13th place) in the Women’s races.
- New Buggies. As noted above, SigEp made their Buggy debut with their new build, the oversized Genesis. But they weren’t alone. CIA built its first new buggy since returning to Raceday, adding the dropping pushbar buggy Mirage. One year after PiKA built a new buggy that never raced named Phoenix, PhiKap appears to have done the same. PiKA, meanwhile, used 2000 to build a buggy that actually would roll, Zeus. Beta built a new buggy named Beast. SAE built a very slow buggy that is the dream of many Buggy participants who were never small enough to drive, Shocker. Fringe built 2 different buggies, Bandit and Basketcase (with 1 S). According to buggy alumnus TommyK, Basketcase was named for the experimental layup techniques we tried with it. Not to be outdone, we have reports that KDR actually built three new buggies in Poena, Penthus, and Procrustes, though the only one that we’ve confirmed made it to the course at some point was Penthus.
- Driverless Buggy. One more new buggy hit the course in 2000, but it was a little unusual. The School of Computer Science had an idea in the 1990s to try and run an autonomous buggy. And in 2000, the plans finally came together. Work by Arne Suppe, Shafeeq Sinnamohideen, and Maayan Roth, plus some 1996 efforts by Matt White, culminated in the SCS Autonomous Buggy project. The buggy, which may have been unnamed at the time but would eventually become known as Singularity, was completed in time to be entered into an Exhibition heat on Saturday. A trial run before Saturday’s raceday started went well, and the buggy made it successfully to the monument. Unfortunately, when it came time to actually take it’s real exhibition heat, the buggy developed some line-tracking issues, and the team was forced to manually stop the buggy just after the Hill 2 shove. The plan was to bring it back for 2001 better than ever, but rain cancelled Exhibitions that year, so it would be another 10 years before a robotic buggy returned to the course.
- Sweepstakes Budget. We haven’t seen Sweepstakes’ budget in a few years, but the amount required jumped by the time we got to the 1999-2000 school year. The budget for this year was $24,660.
- Permit Problems. Part of the reason for the increased budget was the need for permits from the City of Pittsburgh. But in 2000, the permit system wasn’t exactly flawless. An article in the October 25, 1999 Tartan pointed out that the City’s system nearly created a disaster for Buggy. Fall rolls were scheduled to run every weekend from October 2 to November 14, and Sweepstakes had obtained a permit for the October 2 rolls. Somehow, the city had also granted a permit to Pitt for the same day, but the conflict was not discovered until the day before. Pitt’s use of the roads would have resulted in thousands of Pitt students running onto the course, but luckily, Sweepstakes took quick action and worked out a solution with Pitt before rolls began. This wasn’t the first time that the issue happened; according to the article, the same problem occurred the year prior, and the City refused to revoke the permit granted to Pitt, even though they had previously granted the permits to Sweepstakes and were aware of the oversight.
- Haybale Seating. Some people like to sit on the haybales in between heats on Raceday. In 2000, people running The Frame gallery thought that it might be a good idea as well. And as they saw it, there were a whole bunch of haybales just sitting there for the taking at the bottom of Frew Street. The February 28, 2000 Tartan reports that CMU police witnessed a black SUV driving away with 9 haybales, to be used for seating at The Frame. Police stopped the driver and issued a citation, and returned the haybales to Sweepstakes.
- Troubled Practices for Fringe. Fringe had a very troubled Spring semester when it came to rolls. The first issue came during push practice on April 7, 2000. At 1:22am, Fringe was practicing on Hill 3. According to Scott Ziolko, Fringe wanted to give the buggy a rolling start on Hill 3, so they had one of their strongest pushers give the buggy a shove. However, when the pusher shoved the buggy, the driver lost her grip on the steering and inadvertently turned the buggy sharply to the right. The buggy, Basketcase, ended up colliding with a vehicle parked on the street and lodged itself under the car. The collision resulted in the
windshield of the buggy shattering(the Tartan described the windshield as “shattering”, but per Scott Ziolko, the front hatch was broken but could be carried around in one piece), and left the car’s bumper scratched and separated from the frame, though it’s unclear if the scratched and separated bumper was the result of the collision itself of of the Fringe members lifting the car off of Basketcase in order to dislodge the buggy. CMU police and EMS were called as the driver complained of back pain after being slammed against her harness. When they responded, they called for the Pittsburgh fire department to send a rescue team. The rescue team responded, but made matters worse as they decided to cut the driver out of the buggy by using a pneumatic chisel. According to Scott Ziolko, the fire department’s plan was to chisel the top of the buggy’s shell and that the pushbar would come off as well, not understanding when Fringe told them the pushbar was attached to the pan, not the top of the shell. The driver tried to get them to stop as the chiseling was causing additional pain (according to Fringe co-head mechanics in the April 17, 2000 Tartan, all they needed to remove the driver properly was a pair of ten snaps(per Scott Ziolko, this should have been “tin snips”, not “ten snaps”). Eventually the fire department reached a point where they realized the pushbar was going to be a problem, and instead slid the driver forward to get her far enough out of the buggy to stabilize her on a backboard. The driver was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons, but did not sustain any serious injuries. The buggy, however, did sustain serious injury and was (somewhat) retired. The next day, at Truck Weekend on April 8, a Fringe buggy lost control in the Chute and hit the bales hard. The driver injured her back and was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures, but she sustained no serious injuries and was back rolling on Raceday. The rumor from Truck Weekend was that an oil spill on the road Saturday may have caused the incident.
- More Safety Concerns. Fringe wasn’t the only organization with serious incidents in the Spring of 2000. Early in the Spring semester, a PhiKap driver sustained an eye injury when she lost her vision while rolling and hit her head against the steering mechanism. The driver was not wearing goggles at the time (PhiKap was fined $100 for the safety violation), and sustained a serious cut near her eye that required stitches. SDC had three spinouts during rolls, though none were serious. The risk was exacerbated by potholes, uneven roads, and poor weather conditions. But safety was still a top priority for Sweepstakes, and it needed to be. Sweepstakes Chair Debby Keller noted in the April 17, 2000 Tartan that a lot of people don’t like the idea of closing down Schenley Drive during the day, so even though CMU backs the sport, the Pittsburgh community would jump at any chance to end it. “We’re in danger of having the tradition [of Buggy] wiped away by the tiniest things. We lack the community support Sweepstakes used to have,” she said.
- Compubookie Jumps in Hot Water. Every few years, Compubookie writes something that finds itself on the wrong side of the line, and 2000 was one of those years. Compubookie expanded his predictions on the Women’s side this year, naming a Top 10 for Men’s and a Top 6 for Women’s. But a lot of his article focused on the safety issues earlier in the year, and his comments about Fringe in particular led a Tartan columnist (and Buggy Pusher) to respond. Writer Sean Mintus wrote in the April 17, 2000 Tartan that Compubookie’s “intended purpose, to entertain while providing a clever and insightful prediction of the outcome of our Sweepstakes races, has been completely lost”, and that his comments about Fringe were completely inappropriate. He also criticized Compubookie’s predictions as being little more than a random guess, though we actually don’t think his predictions in 2000 were all that terrible. On the Men’s side, Compubookie went with (1) PiKA A; (2) Spirit A; (3) Fringe A; (4) PhiKap A; (5) SigNu A; (6) SDC A; (7) PiKA B; (8) Beta A; (9) Spirit B; and (10) Pioneers A. On the Women’s side, he chose (1) Spirit A; (2) PiKA A; (3) SDC A; (4) Fringe A; (5) SigNu A; and (6) Beta A.
- PhiKap Drops The Ball. PhiKap’s Men’s A team stopped the clock at 2:17.75 on Friday, good for 8th place overall and enough to advance to the Finals. But they hit a snag during drops, and the buggy did not stop in time. The PhiKap buggy chair stated that the cause of the failure was that the driver did not see the brake flag, and therefore she didn’t brake in time. Sweepstakes gave PhiKap a second attempt at drops, which they passed, but after review Sweepstakes determined that there was no basis for a second attempt at a drop test, and therefore the DQ stood.
- SAE Pulls a Shocker. As noted above, SAE built a new buggy for 2000, named Shocker. The buggy was comically large, with enough space inside for just about anyone to drive. By 2000, SAE had retired Limo, but thanks to the new build, they had a new buggy to take up the “fun” mantle. The team wasn’t fast, but both the buggy and the team dressed up, as you can see here.
- Beta’s Non-Interference. Shafeeq provided us with another story from 2000 in the comments below. On Friday, CIA C (full of the team’s mechanics) pushed Conquest against Beta A. Unsurprisingly, Beta won the up-and-over, entering the freeroll first. But the Beta Hill 2 pusher took a little too long to get out of the way, and as a result, Conquest plowed into him. According to Shafeeq, the extra weight of the pusher landing on the buggy bent Conquest’s axle, and punted the buggy into the curb, bending it on the other axis and grinding off the head of the wheel screw. CIA didn’t realize the extent of the damage until that night, and since the C team was mostly mechanics, the team elected “sleep” over “get the buggy fixed up for a reroll”.
- Other Men’s Miscellany. Only 2 other Men’s teams suffered a fate that resulted in them not receiving an official time. Spirit A, one of the favorites in the race, had an unfortunate mechanical failure in the buggy and as a result, they spun out, but the driver was uninjured. The other was SigNu B, who failed their drop test, though their time wasn’t fast enough to make Finals anyway. Beta B and SDC C were granted rerolls, to be run on Saturday (we don’t have the Heat Schedule, so we don’t know the reason for the rerolls, but it’s possible that both were up against Spirit A when they spun).
- SDC Back on Top. The big story on the Women’s side was SDC. They had gotten close in recent years, with 3 3rd place finishes in the 4 years prior, but they hadn’t won a race since 1981. That all changed in 2000. SDC had the fastest time during Prelims, and then coming out of Finals Heat 3, SDC A was in front of Spirit A when they reached the freeroll and really opened up on the backhills, earning the victory.
- Queen of the Hill. Finals Heat 2 was the home of the 2000 Queen of the Hill. Fringe A Hill 1 pusher Laura Rosensteel had a Hill 1 time of 21.10 to take the prize and help beat CIA A and push Fringe A into second place, Fringe’s best finish in history to that point. The best Hill 1 time on Day 1 came from Beta A’s Erin Rockwell with a 21.49 second Hill 1, but she never got the chance to compete for Queen of the Hill, as Beta A failed to make it to Finals.
- Was that a Pass, or just a Mirage? The most exciting race on the Women’s side was the last Prelims heat on Friday. The race paired CIA A’s Mirage against Fringe B’s Bachi and Spirit A. The buggies were close up the front hills, with Spirit going into the freeroll first, followed by Fringe and then CIA. But Mirage, with its dropping pushbar, was the fastest rolling buggy in the heat. The driver managed to pass Fringe very quickly, completing the pass at Westinghouse Pond. CIA continued to gain on Spirit, catching up as the buggies turned into the Chute. CIA’s driver, Michelle Ungerer, decided to attempt a pass on the inside. What she didn’t expect was that Spirit would take an inside line into the Chute. The two buggies came into together, and somehow Michelle threaded the needle in Mirage, managing to slip between Spirit and the inner haybales in a space that likely was not wide enough to fit a SigNu buggy. As Shafeeq notes in the comments below, the WRCT announcer in the Lead Truck announced that “the buggies crash in the Chute!”, so both he and the Spirit mechanics began to run down towards the Chute…until they saw the follow truck still coming. Spirit would pass back on the back hills, but the impressive driving earned that heat the title of most exciting of the day. It would also earn CIA a Spot Safety inspection, which was passed, though the delay caused by the inspection led to CIA barely being able to get the buggy back out to the course in time for their Men’s heat.
- Other Women’s Miscellany. The other two teams to make the Women’s finals, competing in Finals Heat 1, were KDR A and PiKA A, but the race wasn’t all that close, as PiKA A opened up an early lead and cruised to victory in the heat. The race could have been slightly closer if PiKA A had ended facing either Fringe B or PiKA B, both of whom had faster times than KDR A in Prelims. However, both Fringe B and PiKA B were DQ’d, Fringe B for a pushbar violation and PiKA B for a 5 second violation. In addition, SDC C also failed to catch up to the buggy at the finish line and ended up with a pushbar DQ.
- Design Competition. Fringe picked up their 2nd win in a row in the Design Competition, which officially began the streak known as Fringe’s “Designasty”. What is unclear, however, is which buggy won the Design Competition. The BAA website currently shows Bachi as the winner, but other reports had Fringe’s new buggy, Bandit, as the winner. And the Tartan was no help, as it lists Fringe, with both Bachi and Bandit, as the winner.
- cmuTV Begins Broadcasting. According to Fred Hopke, a member of W3VC (Radio Club) at the time, cmuTV began broadcasting in 2000. However, cmuTV had not yet used a production truck, and therefore the broadcast was “pretty haphazard”. That’s also why we don’t have footage of these early years of broadcasting.
Raceday: Prelims on Friday, April 20 at 8:00am; Finals on Saturday, April 21 at 8:00am
Sweepstakes Committee: Scott Wabnitz (Chair); Pete Wach (Ass. Chair); Scott Ziolko (Safety); Chris Myers, Lev Pinelis (Design); Victoria Bracco (“Youngster”)
Men’s Results: (1) Fringe A – Brazen (2:09.07); (2) PiKA A – Jackal (2:09.90); (3) Spirit A (2:11.69); (4) PiKA B – Zeus (2:13.80); (5) SDC A – Rage (2:14.40); (6) Fringe B – Bachi (2:15.30)
Women’s Results: (1) Fringe A – Bassketcase (2:34.70); (2) PiKA A – Zeus (2:35.30);(3) Spirit A (2:41.30); (4) PiKA B – Jupiter (2:45.00); (5) SDC A – Rage (2:46.70); (6) Fringe B – Bandit (2:49.42)
Design Comp: (1) Fringe – Brazen; (2) Fringe – Bassketcase; (3) Spirit – Shaka Zulu
Weather: Cloudy with occasional showers, 47-50 Degrees on Friday; Cloudy with occasional showers, 55-60 on Saturday
Buggy Book: 2001 Buggy Book Link
Prediction Score: 39/55 Men’s, 14/40 Women’s (Compubookie)
2001 introduced the Buggy world to the modern Xootr era, while Compubookie had his best prediction year ever.
- The Xootr Era Begins. The biggest story of 2001 was the introduction of the technology that would usher in the modern era of buggy. Fringe debuted a new buggy, Brazen. But this one came with wheels that looked a little different than the ones on other buggies. Fringe ditched the pneumatic tires that had become the primary design of the 1990s and discovered wheels made by a scooter company named Xootr. These 180mm wheels were made of a polyurethane blend molded onto an aluminum center, and the rolling resistance of the wheels was significantly less than the standard pneumatic while also offering the grip needed to make it through the Chute turn. In addition, their smaller size made the buggy easier to push. Sure enough, the new wheels worked to perfection, and Fringe picked up their first ever Buggy racing victory. But it wasn’t just racing; Fringe walked away with a clean Buggy sweep, taking the Men’s races, the Women’s races, and the top 2 spots in the Design Competition. It wouldn’t be long before most other teams would acquire Xootr wheels of their own.
- DU Returns With Secrets to Share. DU last raced in 1997, but in 2001 they built a new buggy for Raceday.
We don’t have the name of the buggy, though it’s possible it was named Alice (or the driver was named Alice)Courtesy of 2001 DU Buggy Co-Chair Bon Shih, the new buggy was named Domed Harlequin (following DU’s theme of naming buggies after species of ducks). But the buggy was a big hit with the spectators, because for the first time since AFROTC’s Stratofortress, spectators could see inside the buggy! It was completely clear. What it wasn’t was fast, as DU finished last of the non-DQ’d teams, with a 2:58.85 time. It would be the last time that DU would participate in Buggy.
- New Buggies. Fringe may have built the best of the new buggies, but they weren’t the only one. According to Tom Wood, PiKA hastily built their new buggy, Jackal, in order to replace Zeus, the fraternity’s then-current house record holder and defending champion. They also quickly built a second new buggy, Jupiter. KDR produced a new buggy named Pagan. SigEp built their second new buggy in a row, named Mr. Brains. SDC built a new buggy, Sisu. And Fringe didn’t just build Brazen; they also rebuilt their buggy, Basketcase, after its crash and destruction in 2000, but slightly tweaked the name to differentiate the two, naming the rebuilt buggy Bassketcase (with 2 S’s).
- Predictions. Compubookie gave his usual predictions, but on the Men’s side, he had his best performance ever, nailing the Top 3 and 4 of the Top 5 in order. On the Women’s side, he wasn’t quite as accurate, but overall it was one of his better years. His Men’s predictions were: (1) Fringe A, (2) PiKA A, (3) Spirit A, (4) PhiKap A, (5) SDC A, (6) SigNu A, (7) Fringe B, (8) KDR A, (9) Pioneers A, and (10) PiKA B. Meanwhile, on the Women’s side he predicted (1) SDC A, (2) Fringe A, (3) PiKA A, (4) Spirit A, (5) CIA A, and (6) KDR A.
- More Rain Makes A Mess of Buggy. After a brief 1 year reprieve, the rains of Pittsburgh came back to Buggy. Friday’s races began without issue, with the Women’s heats all getting a chance to finish. But the rain started to fall during the Men’s heats
, resulting in a number of spinouts(2023 update: After watching the races from Friday, rain didn’t seem to cause any spinouts. Poor heat selection did). At a certain point, Sweepstakes couldn’t let the races continue due to the safety concerns, and the rest of the Men’s heats were cancelled, leaving roughly 10 teams yet to roll. Since not all of the Men’s races were completed, all of Friday’s Men’s results were wiped from the record and the race became a 1 day event on Saturday. Meanwhile, on Saturday the reverse happened; the Men’s division was able to complete all of their races, but the Women’s Finals had to be cancelled due to rain. The result was that both the Men’s and Women’s races were 1 day events, though they occurred on different days.
- Friday’s Men’s Mishaps. As noted above, Friday’s Men’s races were cancelled, but only after there were a few incidents. The biggest problem seemed to be an inability for drivers to successfully pass in the freeroll. The first incident came in a heat between KDR B and Pioneers A. Pioneers was coming out of the inside lane (presumably Lane 1), but KDR won the race up the front hills and into the freeroll. But the two buggies were less than 1 length apart, with the front of the Pioneers buggy even with the back of KDR’s. As KDR crossed over Schenley Drive at Westinghouse Pond, the driver was unaware the the Pioneers buggy was on her tail, and the two buggies made contact. The second incident came courtesy of SDC A, who went up against Fringe B. Fringe was leading in the freeroll, but SDC was gaining and made an attempt to pass on the inside. The driver was unable to pass and had to regroup, swinging outside as she reached the transition flag. From there, SDC made an outside-to-inside move to try to get around Fringe B between the first and second flaggers. Unfortunately, the move failed and a collision ensued. According to the April 23, 2001 Tartan, the impact was so severe that the Fringe buggy “titled on one wheel” before a “miraculous recovery” (2023 update: We’ve now seen the video, and “titled on one wheel” and “miraculous recovery” don’t do it justice). SDC was not as fortunate, and the buggy crashed into the curb. The Tartan notes that no serious injuries were sustained. As Shafeeq noted in the comments below, “I think the pushbars got entangled when switching sides. Leaving the rear of both buggies stuck together while the fronts went in opposite directions. That was certainly one of the stranger things I’ve seen a buggy do.” (2023 update: After watching the video, it appears that the back right wheel of SDC’s Rage clipped the back left wheel of Bachi and got caught, sending both buggies in opposite directions and ripping off the wheel cover from Rage’s wheel.) Of course, none of these incidents affected the results, as each of the teams was able to roll again on Saturday.
- Fringe Benefits. The postponement of the Men’s races gave a bit of a boost to Fringe. Fringe A was one of the teams that was able to compete on Friday, and they posted a time of 2:10.50. However, thanks to the rain, that time was wiped out and Fringe A rolled again on Saturday. Going up against PiKA’s C team, Fringe was able to shave 1 second off of their time and earn a 2:09.07. PiKA A, the favorite to win, was only able to put up a 2:09.90, settling for 2nd place. This made Fringe the first team other than Spirit or PiKA to win a race since 1985.
- PhiKap’s Rough Day. PhiKap was in the midst of a rough stretch of buggy. From 1999-2002, PhiKap entered 9 teams, but only 2 of those 9 received official times. 2001 was one of those two, but it was their Men’s B team, who finished 16th. On Friday, the Women’s team’s buggy completed the course, but did so well ahead of the pusher, and therefore they were DQ’d for a Pushbar violation. Meanwhile, the Men’s A team had an even rougher day on Saturday. They went up against SigNu B and KDR B, but PhiKap A spun in the Chute, failing to complete the course. The April 23, 2001 Tartan reported that the spin was a result of PhiKap being unable to “cleanly eclipse” SigNu in the Chute. PhiKap chair Simone Mauri told the Tartan that the SigNu buggy bumped the PhiKap buggy several times from behind at the Monument, and then hit the PhiKap buggy as the buggies turned into the Chute, resulting in the PhiKap spinout and leaving PhiKap’s driver with some minor scratches. But SigNu chair Steve Lapp had a different take, telling the Tartan that both buggies made contact with each other twice, while side by side during the flags, and that both buggies were on outside lines as they turned into the Chute. Ultimately, the judges determined that PhiKap had interfered with SigNu and granted SigNu a reroll, while rejecting PhiKap’s request. (2023 update: After seeing the video, the spin was largely the result of ALL 3 buggies, not just PhiKap and SigNu, entering the Chute at the same time. PhiKap, which had fallen into 3rd when SigNu passed both with an inside Chute turn, got squeezed on the outside by KDR and the inside by SigNu, and had very little room to maneuver in its Chute turn, resulting in a spin. While spinning in the Chute, the PhiKap buggy made contact with the tail of the SigNu buggy, causing SigNu to swerve slightly and leading to the reroll.)
- Women’s Races. The Women’s races on Friday must not have been all that exciting, because the Tartan didn’t give us a lot of details about the races. The Women’s recap only discusses the cancellation of Finals and summarizes the times of the Top 6, which it points out were the same Top 6 as the Men’s races. Though this could have also been a symptom of the Tartan’s general approach towards the Women’s and Men’s races.
- CIA’s “Men’s” Team. Shafeeq provided a little more detail about CIA’s Women’s team in the comments below. Much like 2000, CIA A was again paired up against Spirit A, and for the second year in a row, Spirit went into the freeroll first and CIA gained in the Freeroll. The difference in 2001 was the driver of CIA’s Conquest, rather than make a risky inside pass, decided to play it safe and dragged the brakes in order to stay behind. It’s questionable as to whether CIA would have been granted a reroll, but it became a moot point when the dropping pushbar didn’t come back up on Hill 3, and collapsed against at the Hill 3-4 transition. So, to see what time the Women could actually put up, CIA decided to bring them back as the CIA Men’s D team. Of course, the Men’s D buggy, Stealth, was 30-40 pounds heavier than the Women’s A buggy, Conquest, slowing the team down a bit. But the “Men’s D” time of 2:51.40 would have placed the team 8th overall (though only 6 seconds out of 4th). Instead, the Men’s D team was DQ’d for a roster violation.
- PiKA’s Musical Chairs. Per Tom Wood, 2001 was the only time in PiKA’s history that the fraternity had to remove a Buggy Chair from his position. Josh Wilke, who was originally the assistant chair, was elevated to the role of Buggy Chair during the year.
- The Tow Hitch Broadcast. According to Fred Hopke, W3VC (Radio Club) member, 2001 was cmuTV’s second year of broadcasting, and they decided to try something new. They attempted to mount a camera on the tow hitch of the lead truck, and then beam the video via amateur radio (“ATV”). Unfortunately, the tow hitch idea didn’t work. Instead, Fred wound up sitting in the back of the Lead Truck with a video camera and a radio and tried to broadcast the races himself. The video ended up a bit “homespun”. It turns out that running large amounts of triaxial cable around the course is roughly the same amount of effort but far more reliable, though it would take a few years before this would become apparent. (2023 update: We’ve got the video!)
- Instant Replay Hacks. The shaky broadcast made for an interesting tape review. Per Matt Theisz, the instant replay that the judges used for tape review was done via 3 “hacked” TiVos (the TiVos were modified to support composite inputs).
Raceday: Prelims on Friday, April 19 at 8:00am; Finals on Saturday, April 20 at 8:00am
Sweepstakes Committee: Scott Wabnitz (Chair); Victoria Bracco (Ass. Chair/Design); Jeremy Henriksen (Safety)
Men’s Results: (1) PiKA A – Jackal (2:09.19); (2) Fringe A – Brazen (2:09.44); (3) SigNu A (2:13.43); (4) Pioneers A – Pegasus (2:15.55); (5) Fringe B – Bassketcase (2:16.13); (6) PiKA B – Zeus (2:16.18)
Women’s Results: (1) PiKA A – Zeus (2:30.58 – COURSE RECORD); (2) Fringe A – Wallaby (2:41.69);(3) Spirit A (2:44.90); (4) SDC A – Rage (2:44.93); (5) SigNu A (2:45.15); (6) CIA A – Conquest (2:48.06)
Design Comp: (1) Fringe – Brazen; (2) Spirit – Kingpin; (3) Pioneers – Pegasus
Other Awards: (Spirit of Buggy) CIA
Weather: Cloudy, 68-74 Degrees on Friday; Rain, 52-57 on Saturday
Buggy Book: 2002 Buggy Book Link
Prediction Score: 24/55 Men’s, 16/40 Women’s (Compubookie)
2002 saw rain knock Raceday down to 1 day, costing Fringe the chance at defending their title, while also seeing the start of a winning streak that was then-unmatched.
- PhiKap Nearly Misses Carnival. A quick look at the results in 2002 shows that PhiKap fielded a Men’s A team, though it ended up being DQ’d for a 5 second violation. But that team almost didn’t make it out to the course. In the Spring of 2001, the fraternity faced disciplinary charges after 6 of their brothers were found accused of a variety of drug charges (which reportedly included growing, selling, distributing, and using drugs). The 6 brothers were deactivated, but the University Disciplinary Council handed down two rulings. The first barred PhiKap from participating in Spring Carnival and the Big 3 (Booth, Buggy, and Greek Sing) in 2002, while the second evicted them from their house on the fraternity quad. PhiKap informally appealed the rulings to Dean Michael Murphy in the Fall of 2001, and Dean Murphy agreed to reinstate PhiKap’s Carnival/Big 3 privileges, allowing the eviction to supersede the Carnival punishment (rather than being subject to both). However, this was a bit of a controversial decision, as a letter to the editor in the December 3, 2001 Tartan suggests that PhiKap had not learned their lesson from the punishment and should continue to be banned from Carnival activities.
- Sweepstakes Budget. Just a quick check-in on Sweepstakes finances – The 2002 Sweepstakes budget was $22,305.
- New Buggies of 2002. A number of organizations rolled out new buggies in 2002. Beta built another new buggy named Thunderstruck. SDC finally followed up on Rage with another of their “7 deadly sin”-style names, Addiction. CIA produced another dropping pushbar buggy in Quasar, though the organization would eventually need to lock the pushbar in place due to its construction. Quasar was a very tight fit, and the back axle was awkwardly placed so that the axle was typically pressed up against the driver’s knees). Spirit built a solid buggy named Kingpin, and Pioneers produced a new buggy named Pegasus. Fringe briefly ditched its “B” naming convention with their blue and yellow buggy, Wallaby. KDR decided to play on their greek roots with their new buggy, PiRho. Lastly, PiKA built a new buggy, Brimstone, but couldn’t get it enough rolls in time to qualify for Raceday and the buggy would have to wait until 2003 to debut in a race.
- Predictions. The digital archives didn’t have the Tartan from April 15, 2002 which held the predictions. Luckily, alumnus Evan Rinkoff did! Per his comment below, Compubookie’s Top 6 Women’s teams were: (1) Fringe A, (2) SDC A, (3) PiKA A, (4) SigNu A, (5) Spirit A, and (6) KDR A. On the Men’s side, his Top 10 was (1) Fringe A, (2) PiKA A, (3) SigNu A, (4) Spirit A, (5) Beta A, (6) SDC A, (7) PhiKap A, (8) KDR A, (9) Fringe B, and (10) Pioneers A.
- Rain Cancels Races AGAIN. For the umpteenth time in a row (other than 2000), rain once again fell during Spring Carnival. This rain came on Saturday, and as a result, the Finals were cancelled. This made the Prelim times the official results, and cost Fringe their chance at repeating.
- PiKA’s Training Regimen. The April 22, 2002 Tartan interviewed members of the PiKA women’s team and revealed the PiKA training regimen that helped lead them to a then-record 29 Men’s and Women’s championships. To make it on a PiKA A team, team members must commit to a workout regimen that begins in October. Pushers and drivers often go on a voluntary diet, and drinking alcohol is discouraged the week before the race. The training regimen prohibits self-indulgence. And the month before races, pushers split their practice time between segments of push and transition practice.
- PiKA vs. Beta. The final Men’s heat of the day pitted PiKA A against one of their many hated rivals, Beta A. And it really seems like the two organizations didn’t like each other much. Beta taunted PiKA early in the day with chants of “Where’s the fire?” in reference to PiKA’s Fire Engine. Though according to the April 22, 2002 Tartan, this chant became pretty ironic when the races had to be delayed so that a city fire truck could get to an emergency at CFA. But that taunting ended up helping PiKA. According to interviews conducted in the April 22, 2002 Tartan, being paired against Beta inspired PiKA A to push faster. And beating Beta was no problem, as Beta’s Hill 1 pusher, Adam Wirth, had trouble with his footing at the starting line. By the end of the race, Beta A had DQ’d, as Hill 5 pusher Chris Rose thought he had an additional 10 feet when he gave the final shove to the buggy, but ended up diving at the finish line and faceplanting without reaching the buggy, resulting in a Pushbar DQ.
- Radio Pushes PiKA. But Beta wasn’t the only thing inspiring PiKA to victory. PiKA swept the races in 2002, destroying the Women’s field and shattering the course record previously set by Spirit in 1995. And outside forces played a role in spurring that team on as well. One of those forces helping them blow out that course record was the WRCT broadcast. According to the April 22, 2002 Tartan, PiKA Women’s A Hill 4 pusher Danyelle Sinclair was able to keep her focus thanks to hearing the WRCT announcer say that PiKA was just 20 feet ahead of Pioneers A. Another came from Compubookie, who predicted that PiKA would finish 3rd and that “their women have not shown anything spectacular on the hills”. Danyelle Sinclair was quoted in the April 22, 2002 Tartan as saying that “I was just excited we proved the Compubookie wrong. It really fired me up.”
- SigNu Finally Puts Pushers Behind its Buggy. The fastest freeroll of the day belonged to SigNu, which wasn’t much of a surprise, as they often have some of the fastest buggies on the course. What was a bit of a surprise was that they finally had found some decent pushers to go along with that buggy, and the combo earned their Men’s A team a 3rd place finish (though Compubookie had apparently predicted them to do well, so it may not have been a huge surprise). But in the comments below points out that SigNu could have done even better if not for the rain. SigNu received some “suspiciously green wheels” late in the day on Friday and had prepared them for Saturday’s races in an attempt to improve on their third place finish, but it would have to wait another year after the rain wiped out the Finals.
- KDR Struggles. KDR was expected to do relatively well in 2002, but things didn’t quite work out for them, particularly on the Women’s side. The KDR B Women had an unfortunate DQ for Loss of Mass when one of their wheel covers fell off during the race. Meanwhile, in the first Women’s heat of the day, KDR A’s new buggy, PiRho, spun in the Chute and blew a tire (driver Erika Cheng was uninjured). The Buggy managed to avoid hitting anything, but Hill 3 pusher Alex Hay was forced to run down to the Chute to pick up the stalled buggy, resulting in the slowest women’s time of the day. KDR requested a reroll for their women’s A team, but the request was denied.
- Rain Delays Broadcast. 2002 was finally the year that cmuTV was gonna go big. They had procured funding from Student Senate to rent a mobile broadcast truck, which they had planned to use to broadcast the Finals on Saturday. Unfortunately, when the rains came and cancelled the races, they also cancelled cmuTV’s broadcast plans. The first production-filled broadcast would need to wait another year.
Raceday: Prelims on Friday, April 11 at 8:00am; Finals on Saturday, April 12 at 8:00am
Sweepstakes Committee: Janice Golenbock (Chair); Carla Geisser (Ass. Chair); Brooke Abounader (Safety); Darcy Munshower (Design)
Men’s Results: (1) PiKA A – Brimstone (2:10.10); (2) Fringe A – Brazen (2:11.38); (3) SDC A – Addiction (2:14.07); (4) Beta A – Thunderstruck (2:14.23); (5) PiKA B – Phantom (2:15.74); (6) SigNu A – Jubatus (2:15.95)
Women’s Results: (1) Fringe A – Insite (2:44.81); (2) SigNu A – King of Spades (2:45.51);(3) SDC A – Addiction (2:45.63); (4) PiKA A – Phantom (2:45.88); (5) Fringe B – Bassketcase (2:54.92); (6) CIA A – Mirage (2:57.05)
Design Comp: (1) Fringe – Insite; (2) Fringe – Brazen; (3) Spirit – Shaka Zulu
Other Awards: (People’s Choice) Fringe – Insite; (Chairman’s Choice) PhiKap; (Spirit of Buggy) W3V3/Radio Club; (T-Shirt) Pioneers
Weather: Rain, 39-43 Degrees on Friday; Sunny, 43-56 on Saturday
Buggy Book: 2003 Buggy Book Link
Raceday Video Playlist: 2003 Race Playlist
Prediction Score: 23/55 Men’s, 17/40 (Compubookie)
Welcome to the era of video! 2003 kicks off cmuTV’s recorded coverage, so we’ve got every race on video. We’ve also got some scary Fall incidents.
- cmuTV Recorded Broadcast Begins. Guess what? 2003 begins the era of video! cmuTV had a production truck and broadcast the races in 2003, and the videos have made their way to YouTube for this and every subsequent year. So to make things more useful, we’re adding a couple of features to this 100 Years of Buggy History series. From 2003 through the present, in the heading info for the year, we’re adding a link to the YouTube playlist that includes all of the races for that particular year. For particularly exciting or interesting heats (spins, course records, contact, etc.), we will note those below and include a link to the video. We’ll also provide some brief commentary, in case you don’t want to (or can’t) watch the video at the time.
- PhiKap Crash Causes a Scare… The biggest incident to happen leading up to Raceday 2003 came during Fall Rolls, on Sunday, November 3. PhiKap had successfully completed a few rolls on the day, but at 8:10am they ran into some trouble. One of their drivers made the turn into the Chute without issue, but as she was in the Chute, her headband came down over her eyes and momentarily blinded her. Halfway up the Chute, and before she reached Scaife Hall, the driver made a “controlled” right turn…where there was no road. She hit the curb at full speed (according to the November 18, 2003 Tartan, it was traveling at 25mph), jumping over it and crashing buggy nose-first into a parking meter. According to a report from an unidentified Buggy enthusiast, the driver appeared to go through the front hatch, moving over the front wheel and interior windscreen and splitting the buggy above the outside windshield. The driver’s helmet came flying off, and she was reportedly removed from the buggy and carried to the follow car before EMS arrived. The driver had multiple lacerations on her face and complained of head and neck pain, and once EMS arrived, they placed her on a backboard and took her to the hospital for precautionary measures, though the driver was reportedly OK. The buggy also sustained damage to its front; the parking meter was undamaged.
- …And PhiKap Wasn’t Alone. Sunday, November 3 wasn’t the cleanest day of practice rolls. Rolls finally got started again after the PhiKap crash, and just 2 organizations later, we had a second major incident. Fringe’s Bassketcase was heading into the Chute turn with a significant amount of speed. Per reports, the driver decided to take a wide line into the Chute, which was a problem for the amount of speed she had. As the driver headed for the outer bales, she make a last second swerve to avoid them, and ended up flipping the buggy. The buggy slid about one foot while on its side, hitting the outer haybales and sliding for another couple of feet along the haybales before coming to a stop. A camera, which had been attached to the top of the buggy, went flying, and the right front wheel continued spinning in the air until a Fringe alum stopped it. The driver suffered a cut on her hip, but was otherwise uninjured and was cleared by EMS. Meanwhile, Bandit, the trailing buggy, went through multiple brake flags and passed the crashed buggy in the Chute, at which point the driver finally applied the brakes. As a result of the brakes, Bandit did a 180 and came to a stop when it hit the inside curb, in a location similar to where PhiKap had just crashed.
- Fall Rolls Report. Fall rolls began on October 5 and ended on November 24. And we’ve actually got a bit of a rolls (and capes!) report, thanks to an unidentified buggy person (possibly with the andrew ID “leg”) who was present all throughout the fall semester.
- Capes. One note from capes in 2003 was that multiple drivers had trouble passing the vision test. But the most interesting note seems to be able to the number of blown tires during capes. This may have been a common occurrence in the era of pneumatic wheels, but in 2003 multiple organizations blew tires when the brakes were applied. Spirit suffered this fate at least once. And PhiKap suffered multiple tire failures. After the first attempted cape resulted in a blown tire, PhiKap went away for a while, and then came back for a second attempt, where they blew a second tire. Meanwhile, Pioneers’s Pegasus had some issues in its first attempted cape test, as it was both (a) unable to get up to the minimum speed requirement to pass capes, and (b) unable to brake within the maximum allowed distance. Late in the fall semester, SigEp caped a male driver, who gave some excitement in his second attempt (after the first didn’t reach the minimum speed) when he hit the brakes and the buggy did a 180, coming to rest on the grass next to the sidewalk. He was successful on his third attempt. And one more attempted cape of note came in the spring, as the three women of Sweepstakes all attempted to cape in their former organizations’ buggies in order to compete in an all-Sweepstakes exhibition heat.
- Saturday, October 5. Two teams suffered incidents. The biggest was suffered by SDC’s 2002 build, Addiction. As some of you know, there used to be a single haybale sitting between the transition flag and the Chute flag, which was covering a grate on the street. By the fall of 2002, that grate had turned into a massive hole. And on the first day of rolls, SDC hit that haybale, with one of the wheels hitting the hole and causing axle damage to the buggy. It’s good to note, however, that Addiction was back on the course the next day. The other incidents came courtesy of PhiKap, as the same buggy crashed twice on the day. The first crash came near Hill 2, though we don’t have details. The second “incident” was much more minor, as the buggy didn’t hit anything but rolled to a stop in the Chute. However, before the Hill 3 pusher could get to the buggy, Sweepstakes had declared it an “incident” and the roll was ended.
- Sunday, October 6. The story of October 6 also belongs to PhiKap, and not in a good way. As the organization before PhiKap proceeded to roll, Sweepstakes announced that PhiKap was now “up”. Demonstrating some inexperience, on the 4th turn of the order of the day, PhiKap appears to have interpreted being “up” as being “clear”. And 20 seconds after the last buggy and follow car went down the hill, PhiKap’s Hill 2 pusher sent the PhiKap buggy on its way. Once the pusher let go of the buggy, he seemed to realize everyone was shouting “NO!” and ran after the buggy, attempting to catch it. But even with two bags, it was too late and the buggy was off. Meanwhile, people yelled for the buggy to brake but the driver couldn’t hear them, and 3 different stop flags were thrown but the driver went through all of them. Everyone ended up just fine, as the buggy never caught up to the follow car ahead, but it was an unnecessary amount of danger on the course.
- Saturday, October 12. The first incident of the day belonged to Fringe’s Wallaby, as the buggy spun in the Chute after hitting a crack in the road. The driver reportedly bit her tongue in the incident. The second came courtesy of PiKA on the last roll of the day, who spun when the driver applied the brakes in order to avoid a bicycle (2 following buggies both stopped without incident). A couple of buggies also “stopped”, for various reasons. The dropping pushbar on CIA’s Mirage failed to rise during one roll, causing the buggy to stop and roll backwards down Hill 3 before the pusher could get the pushbar back up. And Spirit’s Kingpin suffered a flat tire during one roll. Another one of Spirit’s buggies, rolling on Xootrs, apparently was using a flat-spotted wheel for at least one roll, sounding like “a bad lawn mower engine” in the freeroll. And lastly, for SAE’s first roll of the year, the fraternity was about to send the buggy off unbagged, before Sweepstakes stopped them and ordered a bag to be added.
- Saturday, November 2. The theme of the day was buggies rolling slow, as Pioneers, SAE, and Spirit all were reportedly traveling very slow in the freeroll (SAE had a pusher ride along in the follow car, while Spirit came to a stop at one point). The Spirit follow car also apparently stopped at the Chute flag on two different rolls, though it’s unclear why. PhiKap had some issues with wheels, as they blew not one, not two, but three tires on the day (one on Hill 4 and 2 in the freeroll). SDC’s Sambvca had a windshield failure on Hill 5 during one roll, as the windshield was half off the buggy. And CIA ended the day with a loud crack, as Mirage skidded in the Chute and crashed into the outer bales, hitting the bales with such force that the aluminum axle snapped. The axle and outrigger wheel went flying and embedded itself in a haybale behind the driver. But the driver was uninjured, and the buggy was repaired for rolls the following day.
- Sunday, November 3. The most exciting stories of the day are listed above. But in addition to those, CIA’s Conquest failed to raise its dropping pushbar on Hill 3 during one of the rolls. The other notables were about Chute turns – SDC was taking very late turns (well after their flag), while a SigEp driver decided to take a very early turn, making a right turn towards the Chute just after she passed the monument. However, she wasn’t going all that fast, and was able to correct her early turn and make it into the Chute cleanly.
- Saturday, November 9. Rolls were delayed at the start because an unidentified person had stolen one of the Sweepstakes barricades earlier in the week. Sweepstakes decided to use a car in its place until they could replace the barricade. But the barricade troubles didn’t end there. At one point early in the day, a police motorcycle drove through the barricades and came to a stop in the middle of the Chute turn. Thankfully, the buggy support team was able to get the motorcycle clear from the road before a buggy came through. Meanwhile, PhiKap had more troubles, as during one of their rolls the driver didn’t initially turn enough to make it cleanly into the Chute, and eventually she oversteered, resulting in a 270 degree spin that came to a stop “perpendicular to her line.” She did, however, manage to avoid hitting anything. And SDC had one of the scariest rolls of the day, as the driver turned into the Chute a little too late, grazed the outer haybales, and then swerved to the other side of the road before recovering, just narrowly missing the inner curb.
- Sunday, November 10. The biggest story of the day was another injury to a driver. This one belonged to CIA. A CIA driver caught her right hand inside a spoke of the buggy’s front wheel while the buggy was moving at a slow speed. She reportedly suffered a cut to her thumb and a stress fracture. She told the November 18, 2002 Tartan that she would not have suffered the injury if the buggy was travelling faster, as she would not have been able to get her thumb caught in the spokes.
- October 26, 27, November 16, 17, and 23. All cancelled for rain, except for Sunday, October 27, which was cancelled to sleep off Halloween parties from the night before.
- Spring Rolls. Thanks to weather (including some heavy snow), there were very few days of rolls in the Spring. Compubookie notes that there were fewer spring rolls than any year in recent memory (and it didn’t help that the road conditions were deteriorating). But we do have one notable Spring roll moment. On March 17, a back hills pusher lost control of the buggy he was pushing and fell on the pavement. He injured his chin, left knee, left arm, and right hand, and also chipped a tooth. He was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures
- Predictions. Compubookie in 2003 decided to take a different approach. Not only did he predict a Top 10 Men’s and Top 6 Women’s, he also was rather insightful, foregoing the usual crudeness of his one-liners for a more detailed explanation of how he saw the races playing out. On the Women’s side, his Top 6 was (1) PiKA A, (2) Fringe A, (3) SDC A, (4) Spirit A, (5) SigNu A, and (6) KDR A. He noted that SDC’s Women’s team was being pushed by track team members (and this year there are no track meets overlapping with Carnival), which should help them into the Top 3. And Fringe looked like they had made gains from 2002, but not enough to bridge the huge gap to PiKA. On the Men’s side, his Top 10 was (1) Fringe A, (2) PiKA A, (3) SigNu A, (4) Beta A, (5) Spirit A, (6) KDR A, (7) Fringe B, (8) PhiKap A, (9) PiKA B, and (10) SDC A. He pointed out that KDR had devoted their rush period to bringing in strong pushers, and that Spirit had the pushers but their buggies were holding them back. As for the top end, without a new buggy and with inexperienced pushers, Compubookie predicted that PiKA wouldn’t be able to keep Fringe from taking home the trophy.
- New Buggies. Just a couple of new buggies were built in 2003. SDC built their second new buggy in a row which would eventually become a top-tier buggy with Psychosis. Fringe also put together a solid (though slightly unusually shaped) buggy with Insite. Pioneers built the buggy that would eventually be their final racer, Chaos. And KDR kept their streak of building alive with their new buggy, Powder.
- Activities Fee Funding Changes. As noted earlier, Student Senate had now permitted Greek organizations to receive a portion of the Activities Fee for Botth and Buggy. But in 2003, they tightened up the rules for how organizations could obtain those funds. For Greek organizations applying for both Booth and Buggy funding, to get the funding the organization needed to pay for 75% of the cost of Buggy and 50% of the cost of Booth. In the past, this had been calculated as a lump sum. However, in 2003 Student Senate required organizations to split out their Booth and Buggy budgets and provide both to JFC, and the determination would be made individually.
- The Rains Continue. For the 10th time in 11 years, rain affected Raceday. Rain on Friday caused the races to be postponed, resulting in a one-day Raceday to be held on Saturday.
- Buggy Drinking. Condensing Buggy into 1 day also seemed to have another effect. The April 14, 2003 Tartan notes that somewhere between 8 and 12 people, many of whom were underage, were cited for possession of alcohol on the Buggy course. In particular, some Beta onlookers were cited for having 2 packs of beer with them.
- Beta vs. Fringe, Off The Course. That wasn’t the only interaction between Buggy and the CMU police in 2003. A Fringe Hill 1 pusher, who we’re leaving unnamed for now, showed up on Raceday with a bandage covering his nose. Why? Earlier that morning (specifically, at 2:24am), the Fringe pusher, a junior, had come to the Beta house to escort a Fringe women’s pusher, a freshman, to an “early Buggy call”. The Beta president was apparently unhappy with this, and punched the Fringe Men’s pusher in the face. A CMU police officer saw the Fringe pusher crossing Morewood Ave. with the “visibly distorted” nose bleeding onto a cloth and stopped him. After initially resisting providing the officer details, the pusher identified the Beta President as the perpetrator and requested transport to a hospital. The pusher elected to handle the matter internally, but after the other brothers of Beta refused to cooperate with the police, the Beta President was charged with simple assault and the house was charged internally with obstruction of justice.
- Beta’s Disappointment. Beta fielded a surprisingly strong women’s team in 2003. In fact, the team stunned spectators, taking their buggy Thunderstruck and finishing the race in 2:41.07, which would have been good enough to win the fraternity’s first Women’s races ever. When they brought the buggy over to drops, the buggy was able to successfully stop within the distance permitted. But after the driver released the brakes, she was unable to reengage them. Therefore, Beta was DQ’d for failing drops. Beta noted that the reason for the failure was because they thought their race was going to begin sooner and the buggy had a pneumatic brakes leak, making it so that the brakes would only last for around 5 minutes. Unfortunately for Beta, that excuse isn’t all that useful in a sport focused on driver safety, so the DQ stood. Meanwhile, on the Men’s side, Beta B was DQ’d for interference with Spirit B in Men’s Heat 1. Beta B was in the lead on the backhills, but right after the Hill 4 pusher transitioned the buggy to Hill 5, the pusher casually walked off the course towards the sidewalk. This put him in the path of the oncoming Spirit buggy, and the Spirit buggy ran into him. Spirit stopped and was granted a reroll, and Beta had to settle for the DQ.
- Lead Truck Causes Problems. Driving the Lead Truck is apparently not easy. You’d think the message of “stay far enough ahead of the lead buggy” wouldn’t be that hard. But in Women’s Heat 7, PiKA A found itself getting very close to the lead truck. As the buggy, Phantom, turned into the Chute, it caught up to the Lead Truck, and was forced to swerve to avoid hitting it. It was unanimous from the people in the truck that PiKA deserved a reroll, and therefore the reroll was granted. Unfortunately, PiKA couldn’t quite beat the top teams, finishing 4th in the reroll.
- Other Women’s Races. The only real incident on the Women’s side of the day came from Spirit B in Women’s Heat 3. Going up against SigNu A, the Spirit buggy took a Chute line that was too far inside and she ended up spinning out, spinning sideways and going headfirst into the inner haybales. The only other reroll of the day went to KDR C, who didn’t appear on the starting line during their scheduled heat but were granted a reroll. And the winning roll came out of Women’s Heat 6, where Fringe A, out of Lane 2, put up a winning time of 2:44.81.
- Men’s Recap. SAE had a rough Raceday on the Men’s side. Officially, they finished last of the qualifying teams, with a 2:53.91. The reason for that slow time, however, was because they hit a pothole and one of their wheels was dislodged. The April 14, 2003 Tartan reports that SAE was not DQ’d for a loss of mass because the incident was “unintentional” (that doesn’t really make sense, but it’s possible that the wheel issue wasn’t considered a loss of mass). Meanwhile, the winning heat was Men’s Heat 10, where PiKA A (in Lane 2) went up against PhiKap A (in Lane 1) and SDC C (in Lane 3). But it almost wasn’t, as PiKA nearly failed drops, coming to a stop mere inches before the line. According to the April 14, 2003, this was because driver Nora Tewkesbury was so excited about the winning time that she initially forgot to hit the brakes. The only other slightly notable heat (from my rewatch of the races) was Men’s Heat 3, where Beta A (in Lane 2) and Spirit C (in Lane 3) went into the freeroll together. But Beta pulled away in the freeroll and was ahead for the Chute turn (where they had positioned an additional flagger in the Chute itself).
- Pie in the Face. CMU President Jared Cohon found his way into the WRCT broadcast booth on Saturday. And while there, both he and WRCT commentator Brad Grantz hit each other in the face with whipped cream pies. Don’t believe us? We’ve got the photographic evidence!
- 2000 Photos. Below are a number of photos that we have from the year 2000:
- 2001 Photos. Below are a few photos from 2001, courtesy of alumni.
- 2002 Photos. Below are photos from 2002.
- 2003 Photos. Below are some photos from 2003.