Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Saks, Alexandria high schools compete in NASA moonbuggy race

Photo: Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star

ALEXANDRIA — Saks and Alexandria high schools have been rivals in football, baseball and basketball for generations. Now the rivalry has been taken to the moon and back.

Both schools built "moonbuggies" for NASA's Great Moonbuggy Race. The schools not only competed against each other but against more than 50 other teams from North America and Europe.

John Moore, the gifted specialist from Calhoun County Schools who organized the teams, said the racers cheered for each other, but there was an obvious desire to come out on top.

"There was some camaraderie there, even though both schools wanted to whip each other," Moore said.

In the end, Alexandria probably had the edge taking the "Most Unique Buggy" award, but both pedal-powered rovers limped across the finished line with bent or warped rims.

But just finishing was enough to put both local teams above much of their competition. Of the 56 buggies that entered the competition only about 30 reached the finish line, according to Moore.

The simulated craters and obstacles on the course were designed to test the buggies by punishing and at times mangling the steel.

"We were praying just to get over the first one and we were proud of that," said Alexandria junior Morgan Cox, who drove the buggy. "Then we just kept on going."

Full story (paid)

Video: Moonbuggies in Alexandria

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