Spring Weekend was filled with fun, laughter, great PDS athletic contests and plenty of color! Launching the day of spring sports games this year was the first ever Princeton Day School Color Run, which left runners covered in rainbow hues by the end of the course. The morning event was spearheaded by PDS Cross Country team members Alex Hollander '21, George Ma '20, Tharun Potlari '21 and Gunnar Clingman '21. Tharun shared that the group was inspired by a desire "to create an event that would bring the PDS community together and get more people out to support athletes during Spring Weekend." After considering all the possibilities and looking at traditions at other schools, they agreed that a color run would be a fun way to attract the community and promote school spirit.
"We spent a while planning the run, but it did not feel like typical work; it was a fun and collaborative way to foster a community event," said Alex. The group also acknowledged that pulling it off would not have been possible without Dr. Werbel, the Middle School Chair of the Booster Club, Dr. Shah, Director of Wellness Services, and the Parents Association, all of whom were instrumental in organizing and helping to get the adults on board. "They were an integral part of the team and really helped with logistics and communication as well as the overall planning of the run," said Tharun.
Thanks to great planning, a strong response and gorgeous weather, Spring Weekend and the first-ever Color Run were sensational! The runners had a blast being covered in color, the spectators enjoyed watching the painting process and the organizers were able to sit back and soak in the wonderful moments they had helped create. Newly elected Student Council President George Ma's favorite moment occurred early on, when he was in front of the crowd with a microphone at the starting line. "It was truly awesome when I released the runners wave by wave and saw the excitement on their faces," he recalled. While George liked the build-up, Alex enjoyed the action: "I loved throwing colored powder on the runners during the race; it was a wonderful way to culminate the entire creation process." For Tharun, the highlight was "seeing all the participants at the finish line covered in different colors with huge smiles on their faces. Everyone was hanging out together, talking, and taking pictures. The PDS spirit was alive at that moment and the sense of community was definitely present."
Looking ahead to next year, the Color Run organizers are focused on introducing improvements including course marking, time distribution, length and even more color powder! The group is also looking to spread school spirit farther by attracting more participants and broadening their efforts. "We truly hope that we are making a difference by strengthening and prioritizing school spirit, and we want to spread our enthusiasm to other parts of the community through similar events such as this," Tharun noted.
While the fun run was a hit, Spring Weekend had a lot more in store! The Panther athletes then geared up to face off against some tough opponents. Luckily, the Color Run had generated plenty of Panther pride to fill the stands! In fact, Tharun's favorite part of the entire day was "seeing many of the color run participants at some of the sports games after the run. It's always great to see students cheering and supporting their classmates and fellow athletes."
Baseball rallied back to defeat Bishop Ahr School 7 to 6. The Panthers pulled out four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to put PDS back in the game. Junior John Carroll delivered the walk-off hit that gave PDS the victory. Boys Tennis lost a close match, falling 2-3 against Haddonfield. Softball put up a valiant effort but fell to Mount Kimble Academy 16-3. Girls and Boys Lacrosse both finished the weekend with big wins: Girls Lax took down Somerville 20-13. After being tied 8-8 at halftime, the girls broke away in the second half to outscore their opponent 12-5. Boys Lax beat Notre Dame 11-8, handing the Irish their first lost of the year. This was also the first time that any team scored in the double digits against Notre Dame this season.
Alex characterized Spring Weekend's overall impact: "Everything seemed to fall into place, creating a phenomenal and fun event for the entire PDS community." By all accounts, everyone walked away with wonderful memories, rejuvenated school spirit and colorful clothes. Be sure to check out the fabulous, color-filled photos of this spirited Spring Weekend celebrating PDS sports and community! The Flickr set can be found here. - Annabeth Donovan
Photos courtesy of Brynna Fisher '20 and Monica McInnes P'23 '24