YSU’s Welcome Week takes students on a thrill ride


By Denise Dick

denise_dick@vindy.com

Youngstown

Youngstown State University students zipped across campus between classes Friday — literally.

As part of YSU’s Welcome Week activities, students strapped into harnesses to sail along the lines suspended above North Hazel Street between Lincoln and Rayen avenues. It’s the first time the zip line, from Ultrasound Special Effects of Delphos, Ohio, was a part of the week’s activities.

Kassandra Ligore of Youngstown took her first glide on the line.

“It was fun,” said the senior special-education and fine-arts major.

It was a little scary at first when the launch area turned and she thought she’d be zipping down the line backward. But once she turned back around, she enjoyed the ride.

Dennis Handley of Ultrasound helped strap brave participants into the harness before they climbed the ladder and got fastened to the line. Each rider is urged to crouch down and jump or step off the 30-foot-high platform to zoom down the line to another waiting employee who disconnects their harness.

After the first hour, about 35 people had taken their turns along the line.

Courtney Bader of Baltimore, Ohio, didn’t even let a sprained ankle keep her from taking a turn on the zip line. She’s a pro, though, having whizzed along zip lines in Hocking Hills State Park in southeast Ohio a number of times.

“This was nothing for me,” said the sophomore dental-hygiene major.

YSU senior Will Beard of Cleveland also is a zip-line veteran, visiting such tour companies at Hocking Hills.

“It’s a real rush,” he said.

The telecommunications major liked it so much that he went back several times Friday for another turn, shouting, “To infinity and beyond!” — Buzz Lightyear’s line from “Toy Story” — as he jumped off.

Jerisha Morton of Youngstown, who works at the YWCA, took her first zip-line ride Friday.

“It was scary,” she said. “From down here, it doesn’t look that high, but when you get up there, it’s scary. I closed my eyes and then I was able to go.”

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