Fieldstock: A Scouting Report

Because Dartmouth is one of the only schools that requires the entire sophomore class to be on campus for the summer, there isn’t much happening as far as sporting events go, except for all the “unofficial” practices and workout sessions held weekly for the varsity athletes.

After Tubestock was ended in 2006, the College established Fieldstock as one of the biggest competitions of the summer.

But when I was asking people what Fieldstock actually was I heard everything from “Wait, what is Fieldstock?” to “It’s just for everyone to relax and have a good time.”

I’ve figured out so far that the College decided to try to make an amped up carnival for students.

“I’m excited to see how it will turn out since it’s one of Dartmouth’s newer traditions,” Jill Cohen ’12 said.

Nonetheless, whether you have been waiting to stuff your face full of peanut butter at the eating competition or relive Freshman Orientation by capturing the melon, Fieldstock has something for everyone.

Fieldstock kicked off with a carnival on Frat Row on Wednesday. From what I saw in front of Tri-Kap, the students in the Dunk Tank were pretty lucky to not have the baseball players on campus this summer. The three-strike rule definitely didn’t apply as people randomly grabbed softballs and other assorted objects. I don’t know where the girls from the softball team were, but these throwers definitely could have used some help.

For the food relay at Collis, I placed my bet on the GDX team. I don’t know about you, but their trays at FoCo make for good training. If anyone can eat large amounts of mozz sticks, popsicles, watermelon, peanut butter and saltine crackers, it’s the guys on the football team. That sounds like a pretty good preseason meal to me, and it should at least help them bulk up for the upcoming season.

Sheba ended up having a particularly strong showing at the food-eating competition, translating their hip-hop dance skills into serious food-eating prowess. The watermelon eating was particularly noteworthy. Getting low and shaking it must really work up an appetite.

Some teams, like the cross country team, had the advantage of lots of room on their bodies to take on all of the face-stuffing action.

Although eating contests aren’t historically athletic events, several participants incurred injuries, ranging from popsicle-induced brain freeze to profuse bleeding (mozz sticks can seriously chafe).

From what my scouting suggests, however, these aren’t extreme enough to put the athletes on the disabled list and almost everyone will be back in action for the weekend’s other events.

The most anticipated event, however, is still yet to occur. Once a tradition during Green Key weekend, the chariot races are now held during Fieldstock.

“The chariot races will be the biggest event,” Lauren Pace ’12, captain of Tri Delt’s Fieldstock team, said. “We have a team of highly skilled engineers mapping out a blueprint for our chariot.”

The chariots must be built out of two wheels, a standing rider and four people pulling, and it has to pass a safety inspection Saturday morning.

“The chariot races are definitely the biggest event. People have already started building,” Mary Dang ’12 said.

I, on the other hand, feel like it will be a last-minute endeavor as people scramble to figure out how to make it actually run, since Dartmouth students are never on time as it is. We’ll see how it goes.

“I heard that it becomes super competitive and people will do anything to get themselves and their chariot to the finish line if the chariots fall apart,” Dang said.

If the Panhell flag football games are any indicator, “competitive” might actually mean highly dangerous. The questionable safety of Dartmouth sporting events plus large moving chariots sounds like a recipe for disaster. Let’s hope some EMS students are on call.

The races kick off at 5 p.m. Saturday, just in case you haven’t read the multiple Fieldstock blitzes sent out by Class Council.

I still feel like building makeshift rafts and finding inner tubes to float down the Connecticut River seems like a much simpler form of summer fun, but I guess we’ll see how Fieldstock pans out. At least there is a Stinson’s barbecue to look forward to on Saturday.

Good luck to all the teams this participating this weekend, whether it’s a group comprised of your Greek house or a random assortment of your freshman floormates. Let’s enjoy the big weekend of 10X.

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