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Hidden Pace Talents Revealed

Luke Moussa contorts in front of the Middle School Photo Creds; Eno Reyes

Luke Moussa shows off his exceptional flexibility. Photo: Eno Reyes

Pace students may walk through the halls, appearing as average as a lukewarm cup of Joe, but in reality, the Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School is filled to the brim with people who will surprise you with their hidden talents. KN took a look into the lives of seven Pace community members with skills that will astonish and amaze. In no particular order, here is a list of seven Pace students who have extraordinary talents.

Max Irvine (10th) – Grilling

Max has been grilling since before he could remember. Steaks, vegetables, chicken and even squid; if it can be grilled, Max has probably grilled it. Grilling may seem easy, but it takes tons of practice to get to the level of precision that Max displays each time he places his tongs onto the nickel-plated metal bars of his Lion 32-inch stainless steel grill. “I burned my eyelashes off when I opened a grill once,” said Max, when recalling his favorite grilling memory. “I don’t open grills without proper eyewear now.” That’s a lesson we all can learn from.

Seth Swiecichowski (10th) – Airplane Piloting

You may see Seth running cross country or track, but it’s likely that you haven’t seen him in his natural habitat, flying an airplane. Seth started working on his pilot license at the ripe age of 13, but he knew from the minute he exited the womb that he would be flying. Flying is an impressive craft that requires concentration, patience, and a keen eye for detail. “The first time I practiced a stall, I was scared because the plane dropped straight into a nose dive,” he said. “That’s supposed to happen, but I was not expecting it.” Seth practices when he has time, but hopes that in the coming years he can get into the pilot’s seat more often.

Luke Moussa (9th) – Contortionism

Luke may seem like any other ordinary Pace student, but in reality he is an incredibly talented contortionist. Luke is able to move his body into positions that impress, and even frighten the average viewer. He accomplishes awe-inspiring feats of flexibility, like moving his leg behind his head while standing up, and fully rotating his arm behind his back. He first learned of his flexibility when he was seven, when he accidentally touched his leg to his nose.

Sarah Smith (12th) – Unicycle Riding

Sarah began her unicycle career at the age of 12. She got one as a Christmas gift, and knew from that moment on that she would follow in her mother’s footsteps and adopt the dying craft of unicycling. “It’s great for when you need a fun fact about yourself,” said Sarah. “But sometimes it gets hard. I tend to hold onto things for support when I do it.” Sarah has yet to compete in any official unicycling competitions.

William Pair (12th) – Climbing

William Pair has been climbing since he was eight years old. He first started rock climbing when he went to his older sister’s rock climbing competition and grew bored. He decided to compete and actually took third place in the competition, kindling a fire for rock climbing that has yet to be stifled. His parents own Stone Summit, the rock climbing space where he practices, allowing for ease of access and dedicated training. William has competed in multiple national competitions around the United States, flying as far as California for some.

Sammy Lettes (10th) – Competitive Cup Stacking

Sammy Lettes: most know him as a regular guy. He goes to school and participates in the occasional extra curricular. He is a soccer player and a family man, but few know of his ability to stack cups at incredible speeds. Sammy has been honing his skills since the age of 10, when he saw a cup stacking kit in an infomercial. “I don’t practice as much as I used to,” said Sammy. “I used to be able to do a classic 3-3-3 cup stack in about 4.3 seconds. Now I would be lucky if I got about 5 seconds.” Cup stacking involves the rapid timed stacking and unstacking of nine cups.

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