Mia Cabello, The Paisano
The 31st Annual Diploma Dash, sponsored by the UTSA Alumni Association, brought current and former UTSA students, community members and even some canine runners together to compete in a 5k race around campus. The race and festival began at 8 a.m. at the Convocation Center and included a certified race course around the main campus.
It was a brisk and windy morning, but that didn’t stop community sponsors and hundreds of racers from coming out to participate and show support for the Alumni Association. The Alumni Association puts on events throughout the year to benefit the Alumni Association Scholarships, Programs and Services. Since 1982, the Alumni Association has awarded more than $1,000,000 in scholarship funds to more than 385 students. The Diploma Dash is also a great way for the San Antonio community to help make this a successful event and help fund higher education.
The 5k race welcomed runners of all ages to form teams to compete for prizes and awards. The individual racers were divided by gender to determine the fastest runners; the teams’ times were calculated by age and gender to determine their sum age and graded time. For the male category, Moses Luevano held the winning time of 16:07.0. Samantha Wallace won in the female category with the winning time of 18:16.5. The top dog’s time was 19:15.3. Los Correros Locos won for the team category with the sum age graded time of 1:27:52.
The Diploma Dash welcomed many co-sponsors to participate in the festivities around the Convocation Center. The title sponsor for this year was SACU. There were dozens of booths giving away food, drinks and even beer. Sponsors like Whataburger, Popeyes and Pollo Tropical all helped to feed the hungry racers after they crossed the finish line. Bud Light provided beer to all racers of legal drinking age to quench their thirst after the race as well. There were lines of racers gathered from booth to booth for post-race perks like coupons and lots of free goodies. For the little ones, there was an Easter egg hunt in the lawn beside the Convocation Center.
First-time racer and senior computer science major Richard Garcia was asked for his take on his Diploma Dash experience.
“It’s pretty lively. Not what I expected at all.”
Alumni Association member Ryan Gonzales, who graduated last December, shares that, apart from the windy weather, the race went well.
“It was really great. There was a lot of good stuff, food and beer.”
Overall, the Diploma Dash brought hundreds of racers and dozens of sponsors to help support the Alumni Association’s scholarship funds and programs. Even the cold wind couldn’t stop this annual event, and it proved to be another successful year for the Diploma Dash.