Keeping the wheels turning: Students volunteer in all aspects of HH100

Mandi Elrod

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Victoria Shores cleans a wound obtained by Robert Founds after he fell in the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Victoria Shores cleans a wound obtained by Robert Founds after he fell in the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson

For 30 years the Hotter’N Hell 100 has been a stipend to the city of Wichita Falls. Groups of cyclists and fans from around the world load up campers and bikes for the chance to participate in the largest sanctioned century bike ride in the United States.

But amid all the chaos, the volunteers who ensure that the event goes smoothly often go unnoticed. As riders filled the street at the starting line, MSU men and women’s rugby players made sure that the fences and inflatables were up and ready. Marco Torres, psychology senior, said he woke up at 4 a.m. to make it to the early-morning race in time.

“Doing this for volunteer work is OK because I just don’t like waking up in the morning for no reason,” Torres said. “The rugby team has been helping out Hotter’N Hell for, I think the Facebook page said, the last 14 years. So this year we came out early to set up that big guy [Pyro Pete] and then once all the riders go through we take him down and we go back to Hell’s Gate in Burkburnett and then we’re going to set him back up all over again.”

Torres and Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, as well as other MSU volunteers, stood close to the starting line as they waited for the race to start. Pritchett said she was warned that the race starts with a bang, but she said she didn’t realize the bang was coming from a cannon.

“The cannon was interesting,” Pritchett said. “I heard a little ‘pow’ earlier, and I guess that was a gun so we were like, ‘oh, OK.’ So I didn’t expect that whatsoever and I’m really scared of loud noises.”

Despite the startling blast, early hours and the imminent heat, Torres said volunteering was worth it.

“Coming out and helping, any kind of community service is a good thing. I think people my age or younger don’t really think that’s a big deal,” Torres said. “Some people come out here just because they have to. Others come here because they want to be, and that’s a good thing because community service is important.”

The race lived up to its namesake as temperatures climbed close to 100 degrees even as noon approached, making the chances of danger more prominent. As riders began to slowly drop out of the race due to heat exhaustion, a medical team was waiting in a tent near the finish line. Athletic training students were also there, volunteering and getting hands-on training in their career field.

“It’s a really good experience being here. For me, I’m a very visual person, and being able to see firsthand and knowing what to do definitely helps me. It’s a very good place to network and help people out,” Sierra Jones, junior in athletic training, said.

Medical assistants from United Regional Hospital are also on hand to help students work with patients. For Keith Williamson, director of the Vinson Health Center, working in the medical tent is not only a learning experience, it’s fun.

“Every year things go right and things go wrong, and ultimately what keeps it together is our sterling record. It’s these people around, the students, and the medical volunteers who give of themselves. It’s beautiful. People are flexible when it comes to helping others,” Williamson said.

Victoria Shores, athletic training senior, said working with athletes at MSU is different than working in the HHH medical tent because the trainers build relationships with the athletes, making their interactions easier.

“You just have to make sure you’re more thorough in your history. Ask about any previous injuries, medications, surgeries, things like that that you wouldn’t know as if they were your own athlete,” Shores said, adding that the experience talking to new patients will help her more easily communicate with them in the future.

“I love what I do, I mean you definitely have to when you’re working thirty hours a week on top of schoolwork and I like being here to help out the athletes, it just makes it worth the while,” Shores said.

Hotter 'N Hell 100

Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Cory Scott, graduate student in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Cory Scott, graduate student in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sean Brown, graduate in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sean Brown, graduate in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Felicia Westermark-Svanehed and Hannah Ross waits to cross the road at the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Felicia Westermark-Svanehed and Hannah Ross waits to cross the road at the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ashley Weaver, senior in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ashley Weaver, senior in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit races Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
In the medical tent, Moriah Mann (with clipboard), a sophomore in athletic training, works with patient Robert Founds after he fell in the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
In the medical tent, Moriah Mann (with clipboard), a sophomore in athletic training, works with patient Robert Founds after he fell in the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Felicia Svanehed, a freshman in mass communication, at the finish line for the the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Felicia Svanehed, a freshman in mass communication, at the finish line for the the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kyle Anderson finishes the 100-mile race as part of the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kyle Anderson finishes the 100-mile race as part of the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Angela Streadwick, a senior in psychology, after finishing the Hotter’N Hell 100K. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Angela Streadwick, a senior in psychology, after finishing the Hotter’N Hell 100K. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Marco Torres, psychology senior, watches the endless stream of racers leave the starting gates as he waits to deflate and transfer "Pyro Pete" to the Hell's Gate rest stop in Burkburnett. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Marco Torres, psychology senior, watches the endless stream of racers leave the starting gates as he waits to deflate and transfer "Pyro Pete" to the Hell's Gate rest stop in Burkburnett. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, and Talia Harris, mass communication sophomore, watch the endless stream of racers leave the starting gates as they wait cross the road to deflate and transfer "Pyro Pete" to the Hell's Gate rest stop in Burkburnett. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, and Talia Harris, mass communication sophomore, watch the endless stream of racers leave the starting gates as they wait cross the road to deflate and transfer "Pyro Pete" to the Hell's Gate rest stop in Burkburnett. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Talia Harris, mass communication sophomore, and Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, prepare to pack up and move "Pyro Pete" as volunteers begin deflating Hotter 'n Hell's unofficial mascot. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Talia Harris, mass communication sophomore, and Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, prepare to pack up and move "Pyro Pete" as volunteers begin deflating Hotter 'n Hell's unofficial mascot. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Victoria Shores, athletic training senior, Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Victoria Shores, athletic training senior, Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Collin Buerger at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Collin Buerger at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
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