USA hockey wins first Spring sports showdown
Kurtis Gosney/ Sun Star Reporter
April 15, 2014
It’s been almost a month since the Alaska Nanooks’ sports season ended in March, but that’s not keeping UAF’s student-athletes from having a little fun. The Alaska Nanooks’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee hosted the first ever Spring Sports Showdown last Friday at the Patty Center, an event they plan to hold every year.
The showdown started at 6:30 p.m. and was scheduled to end at 9:30, but actually ran until 10. During this event, members of all the Nanook sports teams competed against each other to see who had the better program. There were nine teams, each made up of student-athletes from different programs. The number of players on each team depended on the amount of players on each Nanooks team. The hockey team, however, had so many players that they decided to split into to separate teams. One team was call “American Hockey” and the other was “Canadian Hockey.” Each team wore a different color shirt. The men’s basketball team wore black, the women’s team wore pink, the women’s swim team was red, volleyball was blue, cross-country running/skiing was green, rifle had orange, and the hockey team split into two separate teams. One team wore yellow and was called American Hockey, and the other team was called Canadian Hockey, which wore red and white.
There were seven different sports scheduled. The first sport was 4-on-4 volleyball, followed by 4-person rifle, skiing relay race around one of the soccer fields, 4-on-4 hockey, 4-on-4 basketball, a swimming relay race, and finally a cheerleading contest. Due to time constraints, 4-on-4 hockey had to be removed from the schedule.
The athletes gave themselves handicaps when they competed in their own sport so they would not have an advantage over athletes who were playing an unfamiliar sport. For volleyball, members of the Nanook volleyball team had to where gloves or mittens on their hands; members of the rifle team were required to stand on foam pads during the rifle competition; members of the ski team had to race on only ski during the relay race; hockey players had to hold their sticks upside down and compete without a goalie; basketball players had to shoot using their non-shooting hand; and swimmers had to wear shirts while they were in the water.
Whichever team got first place in a given sport got 10 points. When all the sports were finished, the teams’ total scores were tallied to decide the winner. If a team got first place in its own sport, they would not get any points toward their final score, but if they got second they would get second-place points. At the end of the night, it was American Hockey who won the showdown. As a reward for their victory, they were presented with a small trophy that was barely bigger than the palm of someone’s hand.
Sophomore volleyball player and Art student, Sam Harthun, commented on her team’s win in the volleyball competition, “We honestly didn’t think it was gonna happen,” Harthun said. “Obviously everyone’s getting a little rowdy over it, but we’re all competitive.” Harthun also voiced her opinion about the Showdown. “I think this event is a great idea,” Harthun said. “We should be doing it every single year. It really brings everyone together and we get to be around athletes that we normally wouldn’t be around.”
Junior men’s basketball player and Communication student Joe Slocum shared a similar opinion as the event started to wrap up.
“I thought it was fantastic,” Slocum said. “It really makes you appreciate everyone’s sport because you can tell that people aren’t really good at other people’s sports, but it was a good thing for the Nanook community to all athletes and come out and spend good time with each other.”
During a basketball game,
when the men’s basketball team played against Canadian Hockey. Men’s basketball had just tied the game at 7-7 when junior hockey player and Business Administration student Sean Cahill made a three-point basket at the buzzer to give his team the win.
“That was crazy,” said Slocum. “A lot of people came up to me and said ‘thanks for letting them win’, but I gotta give them all the credit.”
Senior Business Administration student and former Nanooks volleyball player, Keri Knight, was one of the SAAC members who organized this event. “We just wanted to have an event where athletes could kind of get a feel for what it’s like to do other sports and kind of have an appreciation for it,” Knight said. She was happy with how the event turned out, considering this is its first year. “These things are really difficult to organize,” Knight said. “Especially because we all are really busy students on top of this. We did have to end up cutting hockey, which is kind of unfortunate but our time schedule just didn’t work.”
Knight said that she and other members of SAAC started planning for this event when the spring semester started in January, but didn’t find organizing
the event very easy.
Slocum said he would participate in this event again, “Definitely,” Slocum said. “I think SAAC did a great job of setting all this up so I’ll definitely look forward to doing this next year.”