On Saturday June 7, 760 students gathered at the Academy Lawn to participate in the annual and historic Field Day competition. For the first time in 5 years of Exeter Summer Field Days, Cilley Hall girls’ dormitory won in the Upper Girls category.

Wentworth took top honors for the Upper Boys. Langdell prevailed in Access Girls and Wheelwright in Access Boys.

From 4 to 6 p.m., dormitories competed in the potato sack, three-legged, and izzy-dizzy relay races. Amidst an extreme heat wave, Field Day was a breath of fresh air at 82 degrees.

Despite Dunbar Hall’s previous 3 year streak of winning in the Upper Girls category, Cilley Hall took first place – though by a narrow margin. The dormitory alternates between boys and girls, but this year’s occupants did the Hall justice by winning for the first time in years.

“We did not expect Cilley to win, but we were happy because we put up a good fight. Dunbar all the way though,” said Sidra Khan from Dunbar Hall.

Throughout the day, dormitories cheered wildly regardless of the heat, even before the competition’s commencement. To prepare for the events, participating Uppers clustered along a line in the grass beside Accesses. Within each group were two dorms who competed against each other, racing to the opposite end of the quad. Meanwhile, the rest of the students supported friends from the sidelines.

In the first event, the potato sack race, students sported golden-brown potato sacks and hopped to the best of their ability to the finish line. After the most physically demanding activity that day, participants walked away grinning. Several innovative strategies presented themselves throughout the race, one of which meant completely releasing the sack and jumping with it around their ankles. Others approached the race in different ways.

“I put my feet in [the sack] and kept it close, jump[ing] as high as I can and tried to be straight so I wouldn’t fall,” said

Rina Kawagishi from Cilley Hall. “I kept the bag and held it high so I wouldn’t tangle it with my feet.”

Furthermore, during the three-legged race, students partnered with others of similar heights from their dorms, tied rubber strips below their knees, and ran across the quad and back. As the increased height of the band eases movement, a popular strategy was to tie the band as close to their knees as possible. However, without much practice, many stumbled and narrowly avoided falling.

“We both decided to step with the same leg first,”

said Hannah Ravaris from Cilley Hall. “We started walking, then we started hopping, and [it] eventually led to running, which was the key.”

In the izzy-dizzy race, students ran halfway across the field, turned 10 times with their foreheads on a bat, then attempted to run back to their teams. Many times, participants fell on their trip back either directly following their intensive turning or later on, resulting in uproarious laughter from the crowds.

“It was a lot harder than it looks. You’ve got to give credit to people who ran in straight lines,” said Nicole Chan from Cilley Hall.

At the announcement of the winners, Cilley Hall burst into cheers, the whole dormitory hugging each other in a flagrant display of friendship.

“I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was so proud to be a part of Cilley,” said Catherine Sarkis from Cilley Hall.

Official Results:

Upper School Girls

  1. Cilley
  2. Dunbar
  3. Merrill

Upper School Boys

  1. Wentworth
  2. Ewald
  3. Main Street

Access Girls

  1. Langdell
  2. Bancroft
  3. McConnell

Access Boys

  1. Wheelwright
  2. Peabody, Kirtland, Webster (tied)