Caroline Smallwood participates in tug-of-war during the 2023 Tiger Traks event. (photo by Levi Dade)

Tiger Traks returning with a musical twist

April 8, 2024

By Kelsie Lawhon, Staff Writer

On April 27, Ouachita students, alongside some faculty and staff, will compete in the beloved event Tiger Traks, commonly referred to as “Arkansas’ Most Exciting College Weekend.” Though, this year’s event has students more excited than ever before, and the culprit: a band.

“Tiger Traks is one of the longest-standing traditions of the Ouachita Student Foundation,” OSF Special Events Co-Chair Joey Whisenhunt said. 

The track and field day began in 1975 to raise money for student scholarships. This event helps assist students who need financial aid to continue their education at Ouachita. Tiger Traks has evolved since its start in 1975, but many traditional field games have remained in place. Events in previous years have consisted of glow-in-the-dark dodgeball, group puzzle-solving games, inner tube relay races, obstacle courses, tricycle races, tug-of-war and volleyball.

OSF members begin the planning process early in the spring semester. They communicate with various campus organizations as well as maintenance and athletic staff to coordinate the event. They also hold meetings to discuss what has worked in previous years for the various games and what could make the event better. 

“The planning of Tiger Traks is a long yet rewarding process,” Whisenhunt said. “My favorite part of planning has been acquiring the supplies needed for Traks events. This involves making sure the trikes are in good condition and getting weird looks in Hardman’s Ace for buying a 100-foot long piece of visqueen for the slip n’ slide.”

Events will commence in The Village Circle, continue in the Sturgis Physical Education Center (SPEC) and will proceed throughout Ouachita’s campus. Tiger Traks will end at the intramural fields. 

The excitement doesn’t end there, though. Pop duo Joan will perform live in Jones Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m., following Tiger Traks events. Joan currently has 411,353 monthly listeners on Spotify. Band members Steven Rutherford and Alan Thomas both attended Ouachita and accredit OBU as the place where their love for writing and performing music grew into what it is today.

General Admission to the Joan concert is $20 and $10 for Ouachita students. Tiger Traks is $15 per person. This includes a Tiger Traks T-shirt and free admission to the Joan concert. Applications to participate in Tiger Traks and entry fee must be received by Monday, April 22 at 5 p.m. 

Register for Tiger Traks at Purchase Joan tickets at

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