Relay of the Year

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - By: Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20; Photo by Mike Minckler

It’s the first Friday of the year school again, and all Brentwood Interhouse fans know what that means: the infamous annual Interhouse Eco-Challenge! The first Interhouse event involving the whole student body: this continuous relay race has returners and new students pitted against each other, Grade 9s and 12s alike battling for first place, and everyone worked into an energetic, excited mass of house pride.

On Friday afternoon the sun shone down on campus, making the ocean sparkle and bringing students and staff dressed in green, yellow, red, teal, purple, orange, blue & pink thronging to the waterfront to cheer and watch the fiercely competitive and highly entertaining events unfold.

Putting the new rock climbing gym in the Foote Athletic Center to good use, each house nominated a climber to test their skills on a speed traverse, multiple bouldering routes, and a challenging top rope route. At the conclusion of this first event, Whittall/Alex was in the lead with Hope/Privett close behind, followed by Mack/Ellis with Rogers/Allard nipping at their heels. As the crowd moved from the climbing gym to the waterfront, excitement mounted. With a staggered start based on the rock climbing results, two stand up paddle boarders from each brother/sister house put their speed and agility to the test as they maneuvered their paddle boards around a course, including ducking through a hoop hanging over the water.

Returning to the beach, the paddle board athletes sent the double kayak team from each of their respective houses off in a wave of spray and cheering, and the relay race began in earnest. When the double kayak teams tapped their bows on the pebbles of the beach once more, endurance runners from each house took off around campus, returning out of breath to push the canoe team off.

With the return of the first canoe, the two person portage team from Whittall/Alex set off, still in the lead by a short margin. Following this, the race progressed into the leg of survival skills, including a throw-bag rescue, shelter building, and fire building. To the great delight of all those dressed in green and gold, Mack/Ellis emerged in first place from the fire building challenge, sending their single kayakers off to complete their course.

The last event was a swim, and as their last athlete emerged from the water, joyful Mack/Ellis fans created a human tunnel for the dripping swimmer to run through to ring the bell and officially declare the winners of the 2019 Eco-Challenge. Swarming into a cheering, grinning mass, the fans broke into a joyful chant of “E-L-L-I-S! MackEllis is the best!” before breaking apart to support the remaining houses. Whittall/Alex finished in second place, and it was a close race in the back, with Hope/Privett eventually coming out on top to claim third.

Eco Challenge is a great opportunity for everyone to get out of their comfort zone, try new things, and have lots of fun connecting as a competitive house group.  “Everyone was an MVP”, says Keeva O, Mackenzie House’s Interhouse Captain.

Thank you to all the Interhouse Captains, Mr Norman, and everyone else who participated in setting up and organizing this amazing event!

Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20

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