Sororities tug for Greek Row bragging rights

By Linda Luk

Local women will compete this weekend in the annual tugs event to raise money for Pi Kappa Alpha’s philanthropy, United Way.

The competitive tug of war event begins at 3:30 p.m. Friday and continues at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Pi Kappa Alpha house, 900 Greenbrier Road.

“Tugs is basically our philanthropy we run every fall,” said Nick Bice, internal vice president for Pi Kappa Alpha. “It is a group of girls with trenches and ropes. It’s a pretty developed sport.”

This year, there are eight groups of women participating, and each team has practiced for the past few weeks.

“The girls have been training for months,” Bice said. “There is a week of conditioning and three weeks of training every night of the week for two hours.”

Training includes running, live tugs, tugging against a tree and many other exercises.

“It is really brutal,” Bice said. “It takes a lot of endurance and pretty intensive training.”

Christine Gulino, a member of returning champion Alpha Delta Pi, has been training since early September.

“Every night we do conditioning — push-ups, sit-ups, spirits, jumping jacks, running around Greek Row with a rope,” she said. “We practice live tugs with the girls and with the Pikes.”

A few guys from the Pi Kappa Alpha house have been coaching the team.

Jennifer Ziel, a bartender at Molly’s, 1022 W. Lincoln Highway, and a member of the Molly’s team, thinks the coaches were great.

“Our coaches have been really good to us,” Ziel said. “It’s our first time and they’ve been really patient.”

The Molly’s team is the only non-Greek team participating in women’s tugs.

“We were invited,” Ziel said. “One of the Pikes who is coaching asked if we want to participate.”

The Molly’s team is made up of bartenders and waitresses from Molly’s.

“It’s been fun and honestly, rewarding,” Ziel added. “We’ve done 5:30 a.m. practices and 2 or 3 a.m. practices. We are really looking forward to this weekend. I think everyone is.”

Dan Sullivan, philanthropy chair of Pi Kappa Alpha, discussed some competition techniques.

“All the tugs in the primary take advantages – the tape on one side of the marker,” Sullivan said. “On championship tugs, you need one advantage and you have to take the knot.”

There is a large knot in the center of the rope. If you haven’t taken the rope, it keeps going until the knot is taken. To win the knot, it must be taken all the way to the side.

The money raised will go toward United Way, a national organization dedicated to making an impact in communities.

“We got into it last year because of the twin towers,” Bice said. “This year we decided to do it again, because it is easy and it is a pretty big organization.”

Last year, the organization donated $2,000 to the Twin Towers Fund.

“We are trying to beat it,” Bice said. “We get sponsors that give donations, door prizes and each team has a fee.”

Pi Kappa Alpha is expecting 1,500 people to attend the competition both days combined. A live band will perform on Saturday.

“[Tugs] is a huge deal,” Bice said. “It brings in more girls to to the sororities and the girls take it very serious. Any instant when girls from the sororities compete, it is competitive.”