Spirit Splash leaves UCF students scraped and bruised

Photo by Shana Medel. About 3,000 students splashed in the waters of the Reflecting Pond during Spirit Splash, UCF's biggest Homecoming tradition, on Friday, Oct. 14.

With about 3,000 students fighting for a coveted duck in the waters of the Reflecting Pond Friday afternoon, injuries have become an unwanted part of the Spirit Splash tradition.

While most students were not able to identify who hurt them or stole a themed duck from them, some took to social media to vent about their experience.

Nick Saucedo, 20, a junior majoring in finance, wrote on a UCF student page about his tussle during Spirit Splash.

“Shoutout to the girl and her boyfriend who took the second duck I caught and was planning on giving to my roommate,” Saucedo said.

He said the girl he was fighting with slapped him and then proceeded to bite his arm and hand until he released the rubber duck.

Other students find the injuries and competitiveness just part of the experience.

Alexandra Quintero, a marketing major, spent her second year at Spirit Splash the same as her first – getting tackled for a duck she almost got to take home.

Nevertheless, the 20-year-old junior said she plans on returning to Spirit Splash next year.

“I will redeem myself,” Quintero said.

UCF students aren’t the only ones feeling the pain of getting, or attempting to get, a duck.

Students from other schools, like Morgan Hebner, 20, a sophomore at Seminole State College, had a swollen ankle from being pushed and fallen on. Her ankle was still swollen nine hours later.

“It got to the point where I would see a duck coming near me and tried to run away,” said Hebner, who doesn’t plan on attending another Spirit Splash.

While most Spirit Splash stories of injuries and theft are taken lightly, some students have tales of a much different experience.

Rohan Pranto Rashid, 19, a sophomore majoring in computer engineering, said that when a duck landed near him, the people around him caused his glasses to fall off his head due to pushing and shoving. Rashid managed to catch his glasses and then attempted to grab a duck with the same hand.

When another male student saw the duck, he and Rashid ended up in a fumble. Rashid lost the duck and his glasses.

“[He] ended up crumpling my glasses, probably dropping broken glass in the water, and running away with my duck,” Rashid said. “Now I have pay for an eye exam so I can buy new glasses. I can’t see a thing, can’t drive, can’t take notes – it’ll be a week at the soonest before I can get a new pair.”