Crossing the Finish Line

Students enjoy their last day of school before finals with the school’s 37th Irish 500


The tricycles wait, set up perfectly, for the race to begin.

Olivia Uskert, Reporter

Although finals loom over the heads of the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, nothing could stop them from celebrating their last day of regular school on Friday with the last assembly of the year, featuring the annual Irish 500.

Inspired by the Indianapolis 500, the Irish 500 is a five-round tricycle race with four freshman teams competing in the first round, four sophomore teams racing in the second round, four junior teams participating in the third, and four senior teams in the fourth. The winning team of each preliminary round then competes in the final race for the title of the Irish 500 champion.

Associate dean of students Mr. Ed Freije ‘99 said, “I think it’s fun seeing the classes compete amongst themselves and cheering for each other. It’s meant to be a little comical with high school teenage students riding tricycles around the gym, so seeing the different styles of riding the trikes is always interesting.”

Mr. Freije, along with Spanish teacher Mrs. Kim Jamell and religion teacher Mr. Matt Cannaday, moderates the Student Council, which organized the Irish 500 assembly. Every Student Council member contributed to this event, whether that involved creating posters or communicating with the staff and student body or designing the Irish 500 T-shirt.

Student Council president senior Jake Cerar said, “The process is all about preparation. Student Council meets several times prior to the big day in order to plan accordingly. We also set up the track and other decorations around the WAC the night before.”

At noon, students gathered in the Welch Activity Center for the end-of-year assembly, which included a special slideshow for the seniors, as well as performances from the previous night’s talent show winners. Senior Joey Schmidt sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from the musical “Funny Girl”; juniors Roch Egan, Oliver Koerwitz, Aaron Marcou, and Wyatt Watson performed “Layla” by Derek and the Dominoes; and senior Micah Wasmuth and sophomore Charly Golden played an original composition of, according to them, “expert showmanship and only hypeness.”

After all of the traditional festivities, it was finally time for the Irish 500 race to begin. This year’s racers in the final round consisted of freshmen Connor O’Brien, Owen Pac, Tatum Triggs, and Molly Adams; sophomores Izzy Ireland, Nicky Neale, Audrey Balmores, and Thomas Mariani; juniors Abby Gatto, Luke Demilt, Tess Wotalijk, and Nick Cochrane; and seniors Lucy Clark, Lea White, Austin Wright, and Josh Wesseling.

After many wipeouts, lots of cheering, and some slight interference from the spectators, the race came to an exciting end as the sophomore team crossed the finish line, earning their class the title of the 2023 Irish 500 champion and solidifying their position as reigning two-time winners.

Mr. Freije said, “The Irish 500 has traditionally been like a kind of field day for us and has always been a fun way to cap off the year.”