The Providence Academy Track and Field Team is known for its competitive spirit, so it is unsurprising when new students join and show prospective talent. On Friday May 13th, three transfer students demonstrated their speed in a race after school coined ‘Lobster Fest’. The three students, Wallis, Claudius, and Da Pinchi, transferred from the prestigious local HiVee to race and amassed many fans by the end of the day.
The transfers were initially invited to the school by Jack Lindberg ‘22 and Matthew Narog ‘22 with the approval of Upper School Administrative Assistant Mrs. Kate Gregg and the sponsorship of Upper School English Teacher Mr. Adam Schmalzbauer. The idea was hatched the night of PA’s Prom on May 7th and was swiftly put into action on the following five days to accommodate for the students’ peculiar needs. Luckily, Lindberg had prior experience with similar types of students and equipped Schmalzbauer’s room with a comfortable tank for them to stay in. “We did have some trouble finding the proper type of water,” commented Narog.
Even with that difficulty, everything was ready to go for the 8:30 A.M. bell, but the transfers were nowhere to be found. They nonchalantly arrived around 9:30 A.M. to join their first class of the day: Senior Seminar. Fittingly, they became a part of a ‘fishbowl’ discussion on the book Persuasion by Jane Austen. “They learned about the dangers of vanity and the limits of persuasion,” explained Schmalzbauer.
As they stayed with Schmalzbauer throughout the day, he got to know their character. He described, “Wallis was quite inattentive while Claudius was rambunctious. Da Pinchi was definitely a scholar and I predict that he would have had very good scores.” He continued, “I enjoyed having them in my class and miss them, but I understand that they had to return to their true home.”
As the transfers prepared for their race at the end of the day, excitement built in the student body. Flyers had already been put up in days prior, but everyone, from Seniors to Freshmen to faculty, was buzzing with excitement on Friday. As soon as the last bell rang, a crowd swarmed in the atrium where the race was to take place. Mac Clark ‘22 and Sam Trombley ‘22 acted as security to keep the crowd at bay while Joseph Uzelac ‘22 announced the festivities. As Wallis, Claudius, and Da Pinchi paraded out, their weights and odds were announced. Da Pinchi was the favored racer, especially after eating five pieces of shrimp (compared to the others only having one), while Wallis was the underdog of the afternoon.
Tension was high as the racers got ready and once the race commenced, the atrium erupted in encouraging yells. Although shrimp was placed in front of the competitors for motivation, the racers were not used to such a vigorous school day and were reluctant to move. In particular, Wallis refused to move and his coach Lindberg remarked, “It was just not his thing.”
After a few slow-moving minutes, Claudis, coached by Lucas Priemueller ‘22, was declared the winner after moving the farthest, which was approximately one marble tile.
Priemueller explained, “He was quite prepared after going through some of Coach Hohenecker’s grueling workouts.” Da Pinchi came in second with his coach, Narog, explaining, “He is more a jack of all trades. He is not necessarily the best, but he can do many things.” Wallis, after moving nowhere, came in last.
The atrium cleared out instantaneously and the racers were taken home to rest and take a …bath. Their experience at Providence was overwhelmingly positive and they brought good to the school.
Schmalzbauer explained, “They did a great job at demonstrating the powers of freedom to students.” While they only appeared for one day, they helped close out the year with a laugh. And, although Wallis was the loser in the race, Lindberg made sure to say, “He was a winner in his taste.”