The crowd roared as representatives from Texas State’s student organizations rolled downhill as fast as they could in small four-wheeled cars. There were many entrants, but only one would be crowned the overall champion of the annual Homecoming Soapbox Derby.
This year, the winning team was the Non-Traditional Student Organization, which beat out the champions of three other brackets for the title.
The derby was held Friday in the parking lot by the Family & Consumer Sciences Building. It was hosted by the Order of Omega, a greek honor society, which organizes the soapbox derby every year. Students and faculty came out to support their favorite organizations and cheer on the winning cars.
Each of the four brackets—small, medium, large and residence halls—were filled with colorful and competitive students out to win it all for their organizations, housing community or greek fraternity.
The teams were excited to get to the starting line. They had been practicing their starts, making adjustments to the cars and taking other measures to make sure they were ready.
“Our warm-up includes Sudoku puzzles and eating a tablespoon of cinnamon before every race,” said Austin Darsey, Sigma Chi driver. “We have a lot of rituals that go on before the race, but I just can’t talk about them here.”
The first bracket was the small groups, which consisted of four teams: Formula SAE, The Engineers, The Polo Club and the Department of Agriculture. Formula SAE took first place in the category, followed by The Engineers.
The second bracket consisted of the medium groups, Mu Sigma Nu, Omega Delta Phi, and Theta Chi. Mu Sigma Nu took the gold in bracket two, while Theta Chi took the silver.
Bracket three, the large groups, had more entries, making it more competitive. When it came to the final run, the NTSO took first place in the group, barely beating Sigma Chi, which was given the silver.
The last group to race was the residence halls. Each driver sat in their cars awaiting their chance to win first place. Each of the groups had been rallying together in the past weeks to build the cars, relying on the sense of community the entire way through. Strategy in hand, they mentally prepared for what was ahead.
“The car is actually prebuilt, but we fixed our front and back axels and made the steering system actually work. It was mainly our hall council and our residence director who helped build the car. They worked really hard on it for about a week,” said Trevor Byers, driver for Bexar Hall. “I’m just trying not to think about it. Our system is to just go down the hill, no brake and hit the hay.”
In the end, it was Tower Hall that came out with the gold, winning the residence hall bracket for the third year in a row.
The winners from each group were then brought together to run a final race to see who was the best-of –the-best. It came down to NTSO and Tower Hall. In the last seconds of the race, NTSO passed Tower for the win.