With the harrowing game of Splash still running strong nearly two weeks in, countless interesting stories filled with betrayal, vengeance, alliances, and ruthless competition have emerged. Yet for the average Lawrentian, these stories seem out of reach. How can someone get to the top of the leaderboard? How can they evade hunters lurking around campus? How do the select few splashers make it to the finals? It’s finally time to share the stories of Lawrenceville’s very best Splashers and their advice on the game.
Lilly Gessner ’23, one of this year’s most dedicated splashers, committed the ultimate betrayal against her fellow Ropes Course Instructor (RCI) Emma Kim ’23, who was reading RCI applications. As the doors locked after class hours, Kim asked Gessner to unlock the Kirby Math and Science Center’s door for her—this moment was when her betrayal began. Gessner fooled Kim by luring her away from the safe zone within five feet of a doorway, claiming that she could only open the door located on the science side of the KMSC. When Kim was about 15 ft away, Gessner moved in for the kill by distracting Kim before unleashing the unforgiving Splash bottle. Even the RCI’s unshakeable bond could not stand the test of Splash. Kim recalled, “it was horrible. Never did I ever think I would get betrayed in this manner.” Kim described the betrayal as a “cruel, merciless execution as Lilly used the guise of kindness and abused [the] RCI bond.” Without the time to even process what was happening, Kim had been eliminated and Gessner moved up on the leaderboard.
Taunted and mocked at the Tsai Mezzanine by her hunter, Will Bennett ’23, Emily Kumar ’26 has had a troublesome time navigating her daily life whilst surviving in Splash. Kumar’s hunter staked out her location during lunch, shouting her name while consolidating his plan. Later that same day, her hunter was found outside of the Dawes House sitting in an Adirondack chair waiting for his chance to pounce. Kumar explained that she “was always watching [her] back and wasn't really focused on splashing [her] person, more on getting away from her hunter.” Whether it was evading her hunter by taking the elevator down to the mail room to leave Tsai or having her friends exit the building first when leaving class, Kumar realized that to truly beat a hunter you must always be one step ahead. The most crucial part for her was “[trying] to predict which routes he would take and which doors he would camp outside.” Still, with all of the precautions taken, Kumar was not able to survive. While “walking to English class after consultation, he rushed around the side of Pop where [she] couldn't see him” and before she knew it, she had been splashed.
After his long run on the leaderboard, David Kwafo ’25 is ready to share his mindset. He suggests taking a more conniving yet relaxed approach to the hunt. His first kill was filled with trickery and thoughtfulness. He saw his target walking in the middle of the Circle. Instead of chasing his target, Kwafo “pretended to chase one of [his target’s] friends and that’s when [he] splashed him.” Although modest, Kwafo has racked up an impressive amount of kills and is not yet ready to let the public know how he stays hidden in the shadows.
With over ten kills, Lucas Garcia ’23 is a front-runner in this year's game of Splash; he has annihilated the competition and has no plans to stop. But he didn’t start at the top. Garcia admits that he “started off slow with three kills on the first day but then hit a running streak and now [he’s] in second place.” Garcia seems to have no concept of what an actual “slow start” is in Splash, but he has a good grasp on the winning strategies. To Garcia, “the key is connections and having friends in all grades who can call you when they see your target.” Splash is as good a time as any to get to know fellow students and form inner-circle connections in preparation for the 24-Hour round. Since many people shy away from chasing their target across campus, Garcia affirms “you’ve got to be willing to run and have no shame in doing it.” However, he has more than just a gift card on the line, he has bragging rights. Garcia’s main competitor is Miki Takaoka ’23, who is also his roommate. Garcia “just wants to beat Miki, who has been rubbing it in [Garcia’s] face that he’s number one and [Garcia is] number two on the leaderboard.”
As Garcia says, Splash is a time to “be shameless because it’s worth it.” With that thought, hold onto your Splash bottles and prepare for the epic showdown as finals draw near on May 6.