The Marian Community Stresses WAT Competition and Its Future

 By: J1 Reporters Lucy Drexel and Sydney Schroeder

It’s the fall of 1984. Honestly no one knows what’s going on other than the fact that you and your class just won the first annual Walk-A-Thon (WAT). WAT has been a competitive tradition at Marian for the past 36 years, but things looked a little different this year. Global pandemic COVID-19 altered the course of history for Marian’s Walk-A-Thon. With traditions being put on hold, even raising money became questionable.

Flashback to 2019, WAT kickoff sparked school spirit in the student body at Marian. The race against time to see which class could bring in the most money left a rippling effect that everyone could feel throughout the halls. The smack talk and gossiping about the other grades was just one aspect of how competitive Marian girls are when it comes to WAT. No one could ever picture WAT being any different than what it was. 

Annie Ellerbeck and Clare Degan ’22 hug after winning second place at last years WAT
Photo by: Clare Degan

Flash forward to 2020, something had happened that was beyond Marian’s control. The impacts of COVID-19 had left Marian wondering how WAT would look like this year. Immediately, the administration had ruled out the popular bake sales and WAT kickoff. This alone had an impact on the school spirit. Online school, online kickoff, and the number of students in the building put a damper on the ripple effect that had been felt in years prior.  “It was really hard to get motivated this year,” sophomore Ally Ravnsborg said. “With Field Day not happening last year, we don’t know if it will happen this year either. I think that had a lot to do with it not being very competitive this year.” 

Field Day plays a huge part in WAT. The winning class gets to have first pick over what colors they would like for their theme, and which order they chose to go in on Field Day. This aspect plays a part in how competitive each grade gets because they want those first picks.  

 This leaves many to wonder, what will WAT be like in the future? Student Board Co-Moderator Ms. Jessica Abel said, “Student Board wouldn’t be opposed to having everyone walk the same route in the future because it was easier to manage.” It is still up in the air whether Marian will go back to how it was in the past or keep some aspects of the way it was this year.

STUBO members link arms walking through the bubbles after the two mile walk
Photo by: Omaha Marian

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