September 17, 2019
Pull Apart: The Ultimate Battle of the Sexes
Late in the evening on August 28 the Grace tradition known as ‘Pull Apart’ happened once again. The women dressed in black and covered with fierce face paint, kept their voices quiet as they developed a game plan to defeat the men. The men prepared by lifting a few more weights and practicing the best way to grab onto each other.
The women chanted as they neared the beach volleyball court and the men piled up in the sand, praying for only two scratches this year. With a full 25 minutes on the clock and fewer men than women, the women seemed to already have the win.
However, students Chris Smith and Ben Lorenz came to fight. Smith said, “It was me and my partner Ben Lorenz who were the last ones to be pulled apart. It was probably because many of us put our partners in our shirts. Ben was in mine.”
But that strategy did not stop the women from winning.
With 12 minutes left, the women pulled Lorenz away from Smith and took the victory.
Pull Apart literally pulls the campus closer. It is the classic battle of the sexes, and one of the biggest traditions on campus. Student Mikyala Reynolds says, “It is an ongoing tradition and keeping that alive is important. The girls wanted to win badly, and we did it for our seniors who were participating.”
For many years, the students have looked forward to this event, but no one knows where it came from. Executive Vice President Brian Sherstad, having been a tough competitor himself nearly 35 years ago, explains “No one truly knows exactly where Pull Apart came from, but if I had to guess I would say it has something to do with Grace Adventures Camp.”
In the past, the college took the incoming class of freshmen to Grace Adventures for orientation weekend. They stopped traveling to the Silver Lake area in 2015. Pull Apart could have been part of the experience at Grace Adventures, however, the origin is truly unknown.
Sherstad adds, “I am confident that the administration did not meet to deliberate on the establishment of a campus-wide tradition and after much discussion decided on the ‘pull apart.’ Pull apart keeps going because students keep it going.”
With pride and tradition on the women’s’ shoulders, congratulations on winning Pull Apart 2019. To the men, better luck next year.
Written by Robin Gould