Intramurals: Punt, pass, and kick competition thrives


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The intramural punt, pass, and kick competition almost had more competition than kicks and throws this year.

Fifty-one athletes took part in this year's five-day competition, held at the Hawkeye Recreation Fields. Last year, when the event was held at Hubbard Park for one day, only 21 people competed. The number of women competing also tripled, from one woman last year to three this year.

"Last year, the competition was tied in with the intramural bean bag toss," referee Eric Cohen said. "We decided to revolve punt, pass, kick around flag football at May's end-of-the-year wrap-up meeting. The move was made mostly to attract flag football players finishing games, because they'll already be warmed up and stretched out."

One of those flag football athletes kicked and threw for the farthest distance of the competition on Thursday night. Tyler Geppert punted the ball 122 feet, passed it 149 feet, and kicked it 138 feet for a total distance of 409 feet. He was just short of last year's best score of 417 feet.

Geppert voiced his approval of the change of location.

"I love the lights out here," he said. "It reminds me of high school."

Each competitor gets two passes, two punts, and two kicks; only the best score of the two counts towards an athlete's final score. The punts, passes, and kicks are judged on distance and accuracy; a throw or kick loses points based on how many feet away from the center of the field the ball lands. Whoever records the farthest total distance in the men's and women's divisions wins an intramural champion T-shirt.

This year, every competitor except one was from a flag football team. Lenny Weber was the last person to give the competition a shot on Thursday night — he arrived at the fields at 8:59, and the competition officially closed at 9 p.m. — and he said he would prefer an alternative to holding the competition only at the Hawkeye Recreational Fields.

"It makes it harder for non-flag football players to compete with the event all the way out here," Weber said. "Maybe next year they can have different trials here for a few days and back at Hubbard for a couple."

Cohen said that while nothing is planned for next year yet, there is potential for expansion after analysis of this year's event.

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