Pong Puts Varsity Athletes to the Ultimate Test

Maegen Martin, Staff Reporter

Powerade Pong, the tournament that all athletes await for this spring semester, finally happened on Thursday, March 28. Powerade Pong has been an event that Whitman athletes look forward to each year, one that has been a part of Whitman athletics for as long as a senior athlete can remember. It happens around the same time as March Madness and it is a mock of the NCAA basketball tournament where about 64 duos are drafted into a tournament.

The Student-Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) is in charge of the logistics like the costume theme, time and place, how the bracket works, and most importantly, the food that is provided, including Powerade. This year’s costume theme was to mock another varsity sport. It is an event for Whitman varsity athletes to showcase their Powerade pong skills. There are grand prizes for the first place pong team of the tournament and the duo that comes in best dressed. This year’s Powerade Pong champions are men’s basketball players, Jojo Wiggins and Trevor Osborne. Volleyball players Sonja Fauske and Elyse Benavides won the best dressed award.

Gabby Thomas, president of SAAC, was in charge of Powerade Pong and it was nothing but a fun filled night. The event was held in the multipurpose gym in Sherwood where there were a bunch of tables, and on them were cups filled with water, set up for the pong games. This special occasion involves music in the background and desserts on the side to keep the athletes alive and engaged. Ironically, there is also blue Powerade to quench your thirst when you need that extra boost for the accurate throw or to hit that last cup. The attempt to make it past the first round is everyone’s wish; hitting all the cups before your opponent is always a victory.

Thomas mentions, “The atmosphere is always pretty lively and fun. It isn’t very often that the whole varsity athletic community gets to come together in a laid back environment. Being athletes, the tournament can get pretty competitive, but I think people just really enjoy getting to know other athletes outside of their sport.”

The competition really gets down to the wire, especially when it reaches the final four and championship games. Athletes take this seriously. Senior and champion, Jojo Wiggins, had something to say as it was his first time winning the tournament with partner Trevor Osborne.

“It feels amazing to be Powerade pong champs for the first time. We worked all year to get to this point, and to finally have our efforts rewarded is just a dream come true. The competition was crazy good. Hats off to everyone we went up against, they really pushed us to be our best,” said Wiggins.

On another note, Fauske and Benavides may not have won it all but they did come in as best dressed, mocking the swim team, which won them the prize.

“Elyse and I crushed the bracket. We were steady through the first round then got beaten in the second round. We almost crushed Bear and Matt. We were ahead and dropping ping pong balls in the cups all day. But they pulled through at the last second and beat us,” said Fauske.

Although they only made it to the second round, they are pleased to acknowledge their best dressed award that they worked so hard on.

“Elyse and I are very proud of our win. We decided on our outfits by a dash to Dollar Tree about two hours before. Worth it,” said Fauske.

Champion or not, best dressed or not, Whitman athletes are given the opportunity to take part in a competitive but also entertaining event that happens annually. Who will be, the next Powerade Pong champions?