SDC sweeps Buggy races
The preliminary races of the 92nd annual Sweepstakes competition, colloquially known at Carnegie Mellon as Buggy, took place this past Friday morning. Eleven different organizations were represented in this year’s competition.
This is the first year that Carnegie Mellon had a corporate sponsor for the design competition. Chrysler judged the buggies based on design, and upped the stakes by providing prize money for the first, second, and third place winners.
The teams had been training for the Spring Carnival competition since September, and by the time the preliminary races rolled around on Friday, they were ready to go. The preliminaries began with women’s heats, and the men’s heats followed shortly.
The nice weather and sunny skies from Friday turned sour for the finals on Saturday. The start time of the women’s finals was moved up to 8 a.m. because off a last-minute decision made by the Sweepstakes Committee. The men’s races were about to start when rain began to fall and the men’s finals were cancelled. This resulted in the men’s preliminary scores being used as their final scores.
The Student Dormitory Council (SDC) took home both the men’s and women’s first place trophies. This is the second time that SDC won both men’s and women’s races in the past four years.
The Fringe women’s A team buggy, Bonsai, had an unfortunate crash in the preliminaries. Fortunately, Bonsai was the only buggy that crashed this year. It was the first crash for senior architecture major Becky Peterkin, who has been racing for four years. She crashed into the hay-bales when she was turning into the Chute. The crash was attributed to a mechanical error involving the wheel. Peterkin was not injured, but was emotionally shaken up; luckily, she was able to put the crash behind her and move forward. Later that day, Peterkin was able to race again for the Fringe men’s A team.
“It was a fantastic year and I am so proud to be a part of Fringe,” said first-year computer science major and Fringe pusher Lydia Utkin. “It’s disappointing that we crashed because, by times, anything could have happened. But that’s part of the sport, and the teams who won deserve it. I can’t wait for next year and another shot at the big trophy!”
The women’s preliminary times were reflected in the final runs as SDC-A came in first at 2:30.903, slowing down from a preliminary run of 2:30.684. SDC-B came in second place with a time of 2:37.346, also slowing from a preliminary run time of 2:37.304. In third place was SigEp-A with a time of 2:41.147, improving from a preliminary time of 2:42.356.
The men’s results were based off their preliminary runs due to rain. In first place was SDC-A with a time of 2:05.841, the eighth fastest in the history of Buggy. Fringe-A finished second with a time of 2:07.134, and SDC-B took the bronze with a time of 2:08.212.
“Buggy is a really exciting event that I’m proud to be a part of,” said third-year architecture major Kyle Woltersdorf, who pushed Hill 1 for PiKA-A. “It’s the tradition that keeps me connected with hundreds of alumni who come back to see us compete.” PiKA-A finished fifth in the men’s races with a time of 2:10.194.
This year’s Sweepstakes has shown growth and maturity in teams, as SPIRIT took time to work on the mechanical layout of its buggies in an effort to increase safety. A new team, Apex, was comprised entirely of first-year residents and was supported by other organizations to start its own buggy program in January. Apex won the Spirit of Buggy award this year.