In the photo above, PCC President Lisa Sugimoto presents a platter of burgers to the judges during the Cheeseburger Challenge.
During this challenge, teams of two from each college had to assemble a grill and prepare cheeseburgers to wow the palates of judges (seated left to right below) restaurateur Jack Huang, City Councilwoman Jacque Robinson and Honda Design Center Director Dave Marek.
Here's the Art Center team creatively assembling their grill.
And a member of the Fuller team faithfully biding her time while the meat marinades, a technique they prayed would get them high marks.
The judges may have needed some Alka Seltzer by the time this competition was over!
The team from Le Cordon Bleu won the challenge.
A fun little irony was that the food cooked in the Cheeseburger Challenge was for the judges; when noon rolled around and people got hungry, Robin's was there with cheeseburgers, hot dogs and lemonade to the save the day. (That's Fuller PR Director Fred Messick waving.)
But wait -- I'm getting ahead of myself.
It all started with the National Anthem sung by a chorus made up of one member of each college team plus a referee.
John Rabe of KPCC Radio's "Off-Ramp" served as master of ceremonies.
During each challenge, teams racked up points, with some shaved off if necessary for penalties, and the team with the highest score at the end of the tournament won the grand prize.
In the Monster Croquet challenge, teams had to use a monster-size mallet to push a monster-size ball through monster-size wickets. Here's the Cordon Bleu team:
The Art Center team (with a Cordon Bleu interloper):
Then it was the Frisbee Toss. Teams had to catch Frisbees tossed from downfield in the time allotted. Here's PCC:
And Le Cordon Bleu:
For the meteor toss, each team was provided with a bag in which there were pieces of fabric and some duct tape. They had to create what they thought would be the perfect catching implement for a series of "meteors" that were lobbed at them. This may have been the most important challenge of all because each team was charged with saving the world from certain destruction!
The Pacific Oaks team had their strategy for assembly...
...and Art Center had theirs:
All of the teams were fearless against the hurtling meteors -- from tennis balls to potatoes -- hurled via slingshot by Eric Duyshart, the city's economic development manager:
Here's Caltech saving planet earth:
In the Blind Faith Challenge, each team had one blindfolded member who had to take a series of pennants from the field, guided only by the voices of teammates. Here's the PCC team:
Next it was the Giant Puzzle Race. In this competition, teams had to run to the far side of the field to get individual puzzle pieces color-coded for their specific colleges, then run back and assemble them.
Once the puzzles were assembled, they revealed a map of sorts showing the various college locations and then some.
The Art Center team couldn't help themselves -- after this competition was over they created a sculpture with the puzzle pieces!
Before I forget, each team had a station complete with a bench and a round throw. Here's the Pacific Oaks station, which they appropriately adorned with children's pinwheels:
And here's Jered Gold, Art Center's director of public relations and communications, on the college's iconic orange dot:
While I make you wait in suspense about which college took the grand prize, here's Tony Bondi, president of Le Cordon Bleu:
The teams also earned points for their uniforms. Art Center's uniforms were an homage to the college's founder, Edward "Tink" Adams. And Caltech students donned Albert Einstein wigs, although they took them off during physical competitions.
Many people from the community stopped by to watch the action, including Phoebe and Larry Wilson:
And now, without further ado, the college with the highest number of points overall: Caltech!
Mayor Bill Bogaard presented the trophy to the team leader...
...then all of the teammates shared in the thrill of victory. By the time everyone was leaving the stadium, the trophy was entrusted to Caltech President Jean-Lou Chameau for safe-keeping.
Final team scores (along with their team colors), provided by Eric Duyshart:
Caltech 194 PCC 162 Fuller 160 Le Cordon Bleu 145 Art Center 143 Pacific Oaks 139
The entire event was shown live on the stadium's big screens. I'm told it was also recorded, so whenever I get a DVD I'll do some editing and run it on KPAS.
Gigantic kudos to Eric Duyshart, Ariel Penn and others in the Planning and Development Department who made this event happen, and thanks so much to all the colleges for participating!