A Good Day to Roll Hoops

 Paige Hauke ’19, the hooprolling race winner, holds her hoop and a bouquet of yellow flowers in Lake Waban.

Photo by Richard Howard

Every year, a storied sporting event begins early in the morning, miles outside of Boston. Spectators line the course, shouting encouragement and holding signs. Participants crouch at the start, hoping to make history, eager to take their shot at the title. But there can be only one.

The morning of this year’s race dawned cool and rainy, with light winds from the southwest, and although the slick pavement made the course more hazardous than usual, it didn’t faze Paige Hauke ’19. “Any Hooprolling day is a good Hooprolling day,” she says.

Bold words for someone whose only prior experience rolling a hoop came from some limited practice in her dorm hallway. But that confidence paid off on April 13, when Hauke crossed the finish line first and won the 124th annual Hooprolling competition.

Of course, no athletes make it to the top by themselves. Hauke had years of conditioning with the field hockey team, and some may credit running-while-stooping-over-with-a-stick for her precipitous rise to the top of the Hooprolling ranks. But her work with Wellesley’s Quidditch team may have also played a part, since teammates from both groups sat out in the rain to save her a spot at the starting line. “It was a lot of dedication on their part,” Hauke says. “I got there about a half-hour beforehand.”

Despite her impressive debut in the sport, Hauke won’t be pursuing further racing opportunities. She’s hanging up her hoop—well, actually, she’s passing it down to another Ravenclaw on the Quidditch team, but she’s leaving her mark on the hoop as “Hooprolling Champion 2019.” After graduation, the English and chemistry double major is considering a career in science writing, and if the legend holds true, she should be well on her path to success.

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