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~108th Annual Hoop-rolling Contest Ends in Tie;
Two Wellesley College Seniors Cross Finish Line Together

For immediate release:
May 3, 2003

Mary Ann Hill

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.


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