By EJ Patterson & Grant Willard
This past Saturday three Collegiate students competed in the second annual Stand Up Paddle board (SUP) throwdown at the James River Park System’s Pony Pasture. The first ever competition took place last year on October 23rd in a match up that featured Trinity Episcopal and Collegiate. This time, the competition had an expanded field that included students from Clover Hill, Maggie Walker Governor’s School, Trinity Episcopal, and St. Christopher’s. The race is a time trial format that took place on a nippy day at Pony Pasture, with water temperatures around 62 degrees. Collegiate athlete Harper Kelly (‘16) did not even wear a wet suit during the race, because “He’s a real man.” However, that did not slow him down, as he managed to earn an astonishing first place finish.
When asked about his performance, Harper responded with his always humble demeanor, “I didn’t even know I finished first until somebody told me.” Along with Kelly, there were two other Collegiate students that competed in the race. Allie Smith (‘16) and Lee Kennon (‘18) both finished second and third place, respectively, in the female division. All three racers are a part of Outdoor Collegiate, which is an after school sports program that encompasses a variety of outdoor activities. Rock climbing, trail running, and rock hopping are examples of other activities carried out by Outdoor Collegiate. As a proud member, Kelly has been on the squad for the past two years. “Things like mountain biking are superior to other sports,” he says. He also admits that a big reason why he joined the group is because of Upper School history teacher Brad Cooke, who is the coach and founder. “A big reason why I joined is because of Brad, because he’s a bro.” Kelly further elaborates by saying, “I want to be Mr. Cooke when I grow up.”
Photos courtesy of Outdoor Collegiate.