Battle of the Tributes: UCSD Students Face Off in the Triton Games

 

Some of these events included the 200-meter dash, the tire flip and the farmer’s walk — an event which involves walking with heavy weights in your hands. Out of the 24 competitors, District Nine Tributes Alice Ho and E.J. Quinto emerged victorious from the rubble of strewn tires and fallen hurdles. The winners each received the title of the “Ultimate Triton,” along with a plaque and gift cards to the UCSD Bookstore and UCSD Recreation. 

UCSD Fitlife Director Alexia Cervantes headed the way in planning the Triton Games.

“We used Hunger Games as a theme for Triton Games, because it is so popular, and it is something that a lot students can relate to, and it’s fun,” Cervantes said. “There are some elements from [The Hunger Games], but obviously, it is not a fight to the death.”

Cervantes and her planning committee — which included representatives from all divisions of UCSD Recreation — wanted to make sure that the event tested athletic abilities beyond strength.

“[The Triton Games] has different elements: speed, strength, agility, coordination and also a little bit of fun and silliness,” Cervantes said. “We wanted to pull in all these different elements. We wanted some that were going to encompass all areas of physical fitness, not just strength.”

At each of the 10 stations, competitors received a score depending on how many repetitions he or she did within a span of 45 seconds or how fast he or she completed the task.

On top of pull-ups, push-ups and burpees, tributes were challenged to match the hand-eye coordination of archery heroine, Katniss Everdeen, at “the cannon,” a station in which competitors had to throw a ball into an opening on a structure. 

The 10th and final round of the Games — deemed the “Last Stand”— was a “free-for-all flag tag game,” as described by Cervantes. Tributes wore flag belts around their waists and tried to capture as many flags from their competitors within 30 seconds while still protecting their own flags. The number of flags gathered by a tribute contributed to the individual’s overall score.

Though many contestants showcased their competitive spirit, the atmosphere of the competition was a far cry from the hostile world of Katniss and Peeta. Fellow tributes cheered each other on and congratulated one another with high fives. Even the judges taking scores yelled words of encouragement to the tired tributes.  

“I liked to see everyone working together,” Quinto said. 

Quinto said that while he was impressed by how many people showed up to the event, he hopes that there will be a greater turnout in the future. 

While this year’s Triton Games was reserved for UCSD undergraduates, Cervantes said that ideas are in the works for allowing university staff and faculty to participate in the event.

Cervantes wants the Games to become an event that not only garners as much excitement and publicity as the Sun God Festival but also allows students to foster a connection with the university. 

“UCSD is a really great place, but there are still a lot of students out there who are still looking for something that they feel that they can connect to,” Cervantes said. “I am just hoping that [The Triton Games] can be something else that students can get involved in so that they can feel connected to the university.”

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