Dancing for Anchor Splash and Breaking a UO Running Club Record

Aaron Smet
3 min readApr 21, 2022
Photo by Kaitlyn Pixley on Unsplash

Spring had sprung in Eugene, Oregon. The campus was revitalized with life. People bustled around campus and tulips popped up everywhere. People I hadn’t seen in months, I ran into on a regular basis. There was a palpable energy in the air.

The Delta Gamma sorority was hosting its annual Anchor Splash charity dance competition. Anchor Splash was a philanthropic event that invited all fraternities to participate in a dance competition. Many fraternity guys considered DG to have the prettiest girls on campus. So, of course, we wanted to impress.

I have to give a big shout-out to my fraternity brother, Levi Weiss, who orchestrated the practice times and was our fearless leader. He recruited a dance instructor to help us with choreography. Our fraternity was very small. In fact, we weren’t even technically a fraternity yet. We were still a colony. Even though we didn’t have the same number of people as some of the larger fraternities, we weren’t constrained to a flash mob type of dance.

Many fraternities resorted to taking off their shirts. But not us. We didn’t stoop to that carnal level. That’s what you do when you have zero creativity. Instead, we came up with some good choreography. Our dance was simple. It told a story. It had a three-act structure. The dance moves weren’t complicated, which was something to consider when dealing with uncoordinated men. I think we absolutely crushed the dance and frankly should have won. See for yourself.

Right after the dance, I jumped on my bike and went to Hayward Field. Once there, I had very little time to warm up before having to check-in for my event. I went underneath the grandstands for the final check-in. At the time of our event, my team came out together from underneath the stands and walked on the track. There’s nothing quite like walking onto the Hayward field with fans in the stands. The energy was electric. What made it even more special was that I wore the O on my chest.

In 2016, I ran the fastest times I had ever run. I broke the 100m club record and the 200m club record at the Willamette Invitational Tournament. This was my opportunity to break the third record that season. With the team I had, it was very attainable. We just needed to execute.

I measured out my 20-ish paces and put down my tape. As I ran the back straight away, I saw a flash of white bolt down the inside lane. Sure enough, I was tracked down by Devon Allen, the 2x NCAA champion, 2x Olympian, and NFL football player. When I rewatched the footage, he smoked everyone. The guy is a freak athlete.

We ended up breaking the UO running club record with a time of 43:14. We came in seventh place and actually beat Clackamas Community College!

Looking back, it was one of the most special days I had during my time at university. I had to perform well for two teams to be successful that day, and I did. It was definitely one of my proudest days at the University of Oregon.

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