One Day, 60 Years of Spirit: Field Day evolves but still holds special place in hearts

By J1 Reporters

Becca Williams and Amalea Poulos

Field Day. What started as a single grade gathering for lunch at a nearby park turned into a spirited tradition full of colors and costumes and chaos that no Marian girl ever forgets.

1955: no demo, no costumes, no mascot. Sokol was nothing but another plot of land on Creighton’s campus. Instead, the Class of 1959 sat at Benson Park, having a picnic. As more classes came to Marian, they began to play friendly outdoor games.

A group of girls eat lunch at Benson Park. photo by The Marian 1968

A group of girls eat lunch at Benson Park. photo by The Marian 1968

As Field Day evolved, Marianites began to parade down Military Avenue, headed to Benson Park. Huge floats made by the students were driven alongside the classes. “The parade gave me the chills…when you turn around and see all the cheering and colors and all the spectators are waving and the kids had these huge grins on their face,” Mrs. Michelle Delisi ’74 said.

Once they arrived and Field Day had officially begun, girls scratched their throats cheering for classmates as they leapt to victory in the three-legged race. Students participated in various field events such as the discus throw, tug of war, and gunny-sack races. They then moved on to perform demo and cheer. After showing their spirit to the teachers and judges, the students gathered in the pavilion for a quick, much desired lunch.

Two students race to victory in the three-legged race. photo by The Marian 1982

Two students race to victory in the three-legged race. photo by The Marian 1982

Finally, the main event arrived. The softball game. This had the potential to change the final results. The softball team committee prepared itself to give its all to the intense competition. “The spirit, enthusiasm, intensity, and tradition was all the same as it is now,” Ms. Mary Higgins ’69 said. Even then, Field Day revolved around dedication and passion just as it does now.

As the years passed, the field events were left behind. A new tradition was introduced: halls. In the beginning, the decorations were kept simple and the lockers were still usable. Things progressed until it was “like walking through a haunted house,” Mrs. Amy McLeay ’00 said.

Girls examine senior halls. Photo courtesy of Crusader Yearbook 2000

Girls examine senior halls. Photo courtesy of Crusader Yearbook 2000

Cheer performs in the Marian gym, as rain made them unable to go to Benson Park. photo by The Crusader 1999

Cheer performs in the Marian gym, as rain made them unable to go to Benson Park. photo by The Crusader 1999

Field Day also expanded with the addition of judges’ booklet, Ms. Adrianna Magistro’s ’09 favorite committee. “It’s the rogue savior of Field Day because no one really gives it a second thought but it makes up for a lot of points,” she said. Lastly, floats morphed into what is known as mascot today.

Senior dinosaurs present their demo to the judges. photo by The Crusader 2007

Senior dinosaurs present their demo to the judges. photo by The Crusader 2007

A fire. The downfall of halls. After this tragic event in 2007, administration changed halls to walls to prevent any future hazards. Instead of transforming the hallways, each grade now creates displays in the gym for adults and kids alike to gawk at. Despite this major adjustment, the two-day time crunch is still very much an obstacle to overcome. “I think making sure that everything got done exactly when it needed to be done was the hardest part,” Courtney O’Brien ’17 said.

Field Day outdoors is a foreign concept to anyone under the age of 20. The gym had been used when the weather wasn’t cooperative, but the official switch from Benson park to the Marian gym was less than a decade ago; the trees had become too large for the students to continue competing there. In 2010, it was officially held in D.J. Sokol Arena at Creighton and has been ever since.

Don’t ask any Marian girl about Field Day unless prepared for a heated 2 hour conversation. This event stays with the students their entire lives. “I moved a few years ago and my husband came across all my Field Day costumes and asked what they were and I’m like, ‘Don’t touch them, they’re mine,'” Mrs. Nancy Casey ’82 said. Sixty years later, Field Day still has a special place in all Marianites’ hearts.

One response to “One Day, 60 Years of Spirit: Field Day evolves but still holds special place in hearts

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