Snapshots of St. George's

Civility Reigns at 58th Annual Pie Race
Posted 11/15/2016 10:05AM

Campus Life


In a remarkable display of good sportsmanship, junior Charlie Courtemanche of Norwalk, Conn., stopped 10 feet short of the finish line, allowing senior Nurzhan Jandosov of Almaty, Kazakhstan, to speed by and win the 58th Annual St. George’s School Pie Race in Middletown on a glorious Monday afternoon. Courtemanche led for virtually the entire length of the 1.1-mile race before he intentionally paused and smiled as the black-gloved Jandosov slid past with a winning time of 6 minutes and 49 seconds. “Nurzhan’s a senior,” said Courtemanche, “and this is his last Pie Race. I thought he should win.” Freshman speedster J.B. Stewart of East Hampton, N.Y., was the third runner to finish, in a time of 7:09, followed closely by sophomore Cam Jones of Nantucket, Mass. (inexplicably dressed as Rocky Balboa). Finishing next was a quartet of Rhode Islanders, Madi Aumann and Peyton Mulhern of Middletown, Meggy Grimes of Portsmouth, and Mia Gardner of Smithfield, the first girls to finish the race, and math teacher Emmanuel Daring, who was the first faculty finisher. Junior Jack Tatirosian of Middletown finished 10th, carrying sophomore Spencer Dellenbaugh of Portsmouth on his back. “We grew up together and have been friends for a long time,” said Tatirosian. “I’ve been carrying Spencer for years.” Wyatt Fogg of Middletown, pedaling an orange bike, actually crossed the finish line a few feet behind Jandosov and Courtemanche, but it is unclear if he was participating in the race or just out for an afternoon ride.

Dozens of students, teachers, staff members, faculty children, dogs, and a Pizza Hollywood deliveryman carrying two extra-large pies (pepperoni and extra cheese) participated in this year’s race. The Pie Race is the creation of the late Ted Hersey, who passed away in January and missed the race for the first time in decades. Hersey was the legendary physics teacher and track coach who devised the race back in 1959 as a way of boosting school spirit. Each November since, students have sprinted around the school’s stunning hilltop campus overlooking Second Beach in an effort to win home-baked apple pies. Those who were there back in the day say that Ted’s wife, Shirley Hersey, baked thousands of pies over the years, all of which were delicious. When first conceived, the Pie Race was taken seriously by students and faculty alike, but over the years it has evolved into what Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo recently called “one of St. George’s warmest and wackiest traditions.”

Scheduled in between the end of the fall season and the start of trimester exams, the Pie Race gives students a chance to be silly and blow off a little steam. Senior Hutch Myers of Swampscott, Mass., wore an anatomically correct Batman costume, a flotilla of freshmen boys carried classmate Max Gilbert of Manhattan aloft on a surfboard, and assistant chaplain Jackie Kirby completed the race in full liturgical vestments. An advisee group dressed in red and white striped shirts (with caps to match), a la “Where’s Waldo”, senior prefect Eva Killenberg of Adamsville, R.I., dressed as Rosie the Riveter, and sophomore Morgan Hill-Edgar of New York struggled to push fellow soph Chuck Reycroft of Bethlehem, Conn., on a rolling desk chair. And, for some unknown reason, junior Sonia Bolshakova of Moscow jogged the entire course wrapped in a string of flashing, battery operated Christmas lights.

Approximately 20 pies will be awarded at a school assembly after Thanksgiving.

View a photo gallery on our page.

A Coeducational Boarding and Day School for Grades 9 Through 12
St. George's School
372 Purgatory Road Middletown, Rhode Island 02842
powered by finalsite