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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Red Bull gives you chariots

UA students raced human-powered chariots at the Red Bull Chariot Race on Friday night. The event was held in the parking lot behind O’Malleys on Fourth Avenue and featured 16 racing teams.

Teams of three crafted chariots with two wheels and a strut. One member rode in the chariot while the other two members pushed or pulled it around a large course.

The competition was open to the entire community, but UA students comprised the majority of teams. Various student organizations were represented, including some academic programs, Greek Life and clubs.

Chariots were crafted from ski lifts, trashcans, bicycles and more.

Trash of the Titans, a team from the UA Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, created their chariot from a shopping cart.

“”It’s strategically designed with garbage bags, grocery bags, and hangers,”” said Vincent Catalano, a computer science senior.

The Future CEOs, a team of Eller Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration students, designed their chariot with efficiency in mind.

“”We chose a low cost yet functional way, and we hope that we win,”” said Robert Reynolds, an Eller graduate student. “”We’re using a pull method. We’re hoping it will give us more power, strength and stability.””

Racers were encouraged to dress in costumes for the event. Several teams wore togas and other Roman-inspired gear.

Teams competed for one of three awards. The Hermes Award went to the team who won the final heat of the race. The Archimedes Award went to the team with the most creative chariot. Audience members were asked to vote to determine the winner of the final award, the People’s Choice Award.

The teams were evaluated by a panel of judges, which included Scott Speed from the Red Bull NASCAR Racing Team and the former Wilma Wildcat, environmental science junior Camila Guzman.

“”I’m looking for the most creative and funniest (chariot), the one that gives my heart happy wings,”” Guzman said.

The teams were divided into eight heats. One team from each heat advanced to the next round.

“”Get ahead, cut them off and hold on tight,”” said Briana Nute, a finance sophomore, describing her strategy. Nute competed with Tres Gatos, the UA Tricats team.

Racers were supported by a large crowd as numerous chariots crashed and crumbled. Several people fell out of their chariots and raced to the finish line on foot.

“”I think it’s great. And dangerous,”” said Garrett Voepel, a computer science sophomore, as he watched the competition.

The final heat of the race pitted Tres Gatos and the Rollin’ 20’s, the UA Cycling team, against one another. The Rollin’ 20’s won the race, but a false start forced a re-match.

The Rollin’ 20’s narrowly beat Tres Gatos a second time, bringing a victory to UA Cycling. The team also received Red Bull racing gear.

The team rejoiced after their win, noting the constant competition between Cycling and Tricats.

“”It feels freaking awesome,”” said Maddie Hack, an optical engineering sophomore, of the win. “”It’s a huge feud. This is bigger than us.””

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