WELLESLEY, Mass. -- This morning's 108th annual hoop-rolling
competition at Wellesley College was one for the record
books as two graduating seniors crossed the finish line
together. Jamie "Akiva" Kahn of Manhattan Beach, California,
gave her wooden hoop a final push and dived over the finish
line just as Shannon Mulaire of Stamford, Connecticut broke
through the ribbon. President Diana Chapman Walsh (herself
the winner of the 1966 hoop-rolling contest) presented them
both with a bouquet of flowers, which they agreed to share.
In keeping with tradition, Kahn and Mulaire were promptly
propelled by their classmates to the edge of Lake Waban
and tossed into the chilly water. Traditionally, the winner
of the contest, which first began in 1895, was said to be
the first in her class to marry. These days, victory is
seen as a sign that the winner will be the first to achieve
success, however she defines it.
After graduation Kahn, a pre-med English major and a member
of Wellesley's volleyball team, will enter a Masters program
in medical sciences at Boston University. Captain of the
College's soccer team, Mulaire will graduate later this
month with a double major in Cinema and Media Studies and
Spanish and is weighing job offers.
Nearly 200 Wellesley College seniors, most dressed in academic
gowns, made this morning's 1/4 mile dash, rolling old-fashioned
wooden hoops in a race to the finish line.