by George Zamora
ESTANCIA, N.M., Oct. 31, 2003 – The New Mexico Tech Physics Club won top honors by launching a pumpkin the entire length of a football field with its hand-built trebuchet at the recently held Fifth Annual Pumpkin Chunkin’ Contest in Estancia, N.M.
The Tech Physics Club brought home the first-place trophy in the trebuchet division with its 300-foot effort, besting the second-place team by about 40 feet. The award-winning trebuchet, which is basically a giant catapult that uses counterweights for its propulsion system, was designed and built entirely by Physics Club members.
The day spent “pumpkin chunkin’” wasn’t entirely without incident for Tech Physics Club members, however, as one of their flying pumpkins managed to go astray, traveling 100 feet backwards into a nearby parking lot, and denting a truck of an unlucky spectator. It is not known whether a penalty was assessed because of this malfunction.
New Mexico Tech Physics Club members participating in this year’s event included James Caruthers, Emily Fryer, Danny Jacobs, Lenore McDonald, Craig Miller, and Michael Pursley.