In case you’ve been hiding in the basement of Coly, Northwestern’s Student Activities Council is putting on a friendly competition with Dordt and Briar Cliff called the Triwizard Tournament. Each school chooses a representative that competes in various tasks and challenges with the ultimate goal of winning honor and glory for their school, along with a $1,000 prize for themselves. The three Triwizard Champions – Cade Pedersen from NW, Lydia Herman from Dordt, and Conor Ryan from Briar Cliff – participated in their first challenge last Saturday, Nov. 5th. This was the first time the champions competed head-to-head. While they may have speculated about what the challenge entailed, they truly had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
Chess games, trolls and potions awaited the three representatives as they raced across the NW green in as little time as possible while solving puzzles and completing tasks along the way. Mimicking events from the first Harry Potter book, the tasks were designed to test the champions’ athletic and intellectual abilities. The course opened with a “three-headed dog,” which featured NW’s favorite dorm dogs: Ozzy, Oakley and Ivy. The next section of the course involved an inflatable obstacle course, real-life Where’s Waldo and a brutal chess game against NW computer science instructor, Landon Van Berkum. After wrestling a troll, the three champions were probably reconsidering what they signed up for, but nevertheless they persisted to the next obstacle, a logic puzzle involving potions and poisons. Each drink had the potential to benefit or harm the champions, both in terms of time penalties and awful flavors. Finally, still enjoying the delightful taste of Worcestershire sauce, the weary contestants made it to the last obstacle: a final showdown with Voldemort, represented by none other than Gideon Fynaardt. Sprinting across the green, the timer stopped for each contestant once Fynaardt was ultimately tagged by the Sorcerer’s Stone and defeated.
Once each contestant completed the course and time penalties were accounted for, the rankings were finalized with Conor Ryan in first place, Lydia Herman in second and Cade Pederson in third. Fear not NW students as this is only the first task, and Pedersen still has the chance to improve his standing over the next two tasks. In Pedersen’s own words, he is “hoping to have a major bounce back performance in February.” Despite being a competitive arena, the contestants overall spoke of camaraderie and friendly interactions. Herman described the Tournament as “super fun! Cade and Conor are both great and I was happy to meet them.” Pedersen echoed this sentiment, saying that “It was awesome getting to know Conner and Lydia! I can’t wait to get to know them more in February.”
Even though there was only one winner, the event was a major success and enjoyable for everyone involved. The tournament will continue on Feb. 25 at Briar Cliff, so get ready for a road trip to see more friendly, collegiate competition.