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“Senior Sendoff” 2024
CSD Productions, CSD Productions • May 30, 2024

A sweet twist to running

CSD’s Varsity Cross Country Team bakes cakes to donate to the Davidson College Freshman cake race
Callie Hobbs
The cake decorated by Callie Hobbs (‘25) and Juliana Clark (‘27), featuring the new Davidson College logo (not easily drawn with frosting), found an owner in the Davidson College Freshman Cake Race.

As a cross-country runner, hearing that you get to decorate cakes as opposed to doing repeats is, well, icing on the cake.

CSD’s varsity cross country team recently spent an early season practice doing just that. Spreading out along lunch tables in the high school instead of lining up at a starting line, athletes decorated cakes in an effort to support Davidson College’s 2023 cake race.

What does cake have to do with college, high school athletes and the community you might ask?

Ninety-three years ago, a running race was held on the Davidson College campus (just a middle distance sprint from CSD high school) for that year’s freshmen. Wildcat track coach, Heath “Pete” Whittle, pulled the entire freshman class together and enticed them to run by offering the winners free cake as a way to recruit runners for his track team. No one really knows how successful that first event was but, today, the tradition continues as a fun, less competitive addition to the college’s Freshman orientation. And since there are nearly 500 students in the freshman class, and every student who runs has their choice of a cake, the entire community, as well as high school teams, get involved by baking, decorating and donating cakes.

CSD cross-country coach, Sarah Hofmiester-Cline (a Davidson College alum who ran cross-country) gets her team involved every year. She randomly splits the team into pairs and has them decorate cakes together. In addition to being a break from running, it also helps build athlete camaraderie.

The cake decorating challenge is a fun way to connect upperclassmen and underclassmen on the CSD XC team, and it’s an opportunity for our student community to support the newest group of incoming college students each fall,”  said Coach Hof.

“I get to talk to people while I’m running, but while making cakes with them, we were able to actually speak,” said senior runner, Anna Teckenbrock (‘24). “I was really looking forward to seeing all the different cakes people would make because I knew there were going to be some really interesting ones.”

Then, when each pair finished and went out on a run, special guests (CSD teachers) judged the cakes and voted for the winners to receive prizes. 

“It was fun to see people’s personalities being expressed by the cake decorating,” Anna Teckenbrock said.

On Thursday, August 31, 2023, Davidson College’s Class of 2027 came together in front of the Wildcat statue on campus and continued the tradition that has existed since 1930. Every finisher shows a cake to enjoy as they cross the finish line. Today, this tradition is known as Davidson College’s Freshman Cake Race.

“I still remember the cake I chose at the end – it was 2 small star shaped cakes in a sea of M&M’s, which I shared with the team and my roommate, Beth. The cakes had the words “you” and “won” on them, so I felt like I had to pick that one. It was delicious!” said Coach Hof.

And as for the Spartan cross-country team, decorating cakes was a sweet twist to running.


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About the Contributor
Callie Hobbs
Callie Hobbs, Sports Editor. Opinions Editor

Callie Hobbs is a junior at CSD who has been at the school since 4th grade. She joined the journalism team this year for the first time because she loves to write and is creatively inspired by the world around her.

Callie is the junior team captain of CSD’s varsity cross-country team and loves to run on trails and sidewalks/greenways. To Callie, running is an outlet to think things through. Outside of school, Callie enjoys simply relaxing, finding inspiration and dreaming up ideas for creative projects and spending time with family.

“The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”  -John Bingham

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