A gasp was heard across the lawn of South Hills School of Business and Technology every time Marshall Barto and Darius Morgan took a step backward.
Spectators’ eyes would move from one end of the lawn to the other as the duo tossed an egg back and forth in an attempt to keep it from cracking.
The two were among 11 teams that participated in the egg toss during the school’s second annual Program Olympics.
At the final toss, Morgan lofted the egg underhand from about 20 yards away. Barto attempted to cushion the egg, but it cracked on impact and yolk covered his dark blue shirt. But they were the last partners left.
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The crowd “awed” and then cheered when Barto and Morgan won the event for their Business Administration: Management and Marketing team.
“That was fun,” Barto said as he and Morgan gave high-fives to their classmates. “We’re going to have to keep up our momentum for the rest of the events.”
The business administration department was in first place heading into the last event Tuesday morning in hopes of beating out last year’s champions — the Diagnostic Medical Sonography team.
The field day-type event was initiated last year by coordinator Maryann Lingenfelter and South Hills administration as a way to develop interaction and camaraderie among students and faculty.
Departments, based on a point system, competed for bragging rights and an engraved trophy.
The event was held at the Altoona and Lewistown campuses for the first time this year.
“My dad used to joke around and say we’re the only school without a football team,” marketing director Gina Mazza said. “We make it up in other ways.”
Her father, the late Paul Mazza, and his wife, Maralyn Mazza, founded the school in 1970.
The events included an adviser relay wrap, the human knot, balloon smash, marshmallow tower, the egg-and-spoon relay, egg toss, pie-eating contest and the ice bucket relay challenge that raised money to benefit the ALS Foundation.
During the marshmallow tower event, six members of each program were selected to build the highest “tower” in five minutes using oversized marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti to hold it in place.
Afterward, the students turned it into a spontaneous marshmallow fight.
“It’s a blast. It gets us out of our heads a little bit and allows us to meet our peers who we normally don’t get to hang with,” second-year criminal justice student Dawn Goss said. “Even the most competitive of events and games are still fun and friendly. It pulls us together and I think we all really enjoy the camaraderie of it.”
Goss said criminal justice is the most competitive department at the school.
“We don’t joke around,” Goss said.
Second-year accounting students Tom Ferguson and Dom Hook partnered for most of the events. They said they were glad classes had been canceled Tuesday afternoon so they could participate.
“It’s cool because you spend so much time in school that it’s nice to see a fun and different side of everyone,” Hook said.
Maralyn Mazza said the event was named after the Olympics, because of her family’s Olympic connection. She said her son David works in the technology department for the Olympics on NBC.
“Some people might think this is childish for college students, but they’re all kids at heart,” Mazza said.