Overall winner of the 1.3 mile dash around campus was Daniel Samet from Washington, D.C., followed closely by his new cross country teammates Ryan Phillips of Ridgewood, N.J., and Patrick Rollo of Owings Mills, Md. First place in the women’s division was Brigid Behrens of Corvallis, Ore., followed by her fleet-footed teammates Grace Carr of Bethesda, Md., and Olivia Menden of Columbus, Ohio.
Community members and the college athletic staff amassed about 200 cakes to distribute to top finishers, who selected them based on their order of finish.
In an unusual turn of events this year, eager runners massed at the starting line in front of Baker Sports Center misinterpreted a practice shot of the starter’s gun by Director of Athletics Jim Murphy. Traditionally, the women’s race begins five minutes after the men’s race starts. But when the gun sounded, all the runners bolted down the course, and there was no way to corral them for a proper start. Race officials separated the male and female runners at the finish line and everything worked out fine.
This was the 73rd running of the Cake Race, which is the final event of Orientation activities for first-year students. Though temporarily postponed during times of war, it has been a tradition since its inception in 1930 by Pete Whittle ’30, the Davidson track coach from 1930-1971. The first race was intended to allow Whittle to identify promising runners in the freshman class for his team. Since that time it has become a spirited but light-hearted competition among all new students. Many of the cakes were devoured in place by recipients’ teammates or hall mates. Some did make it back to the residence halls for later consumption.