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Patch High School students hold up numbers ahead of a massive shaving cream pie fight at Patch Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany March 12. The students threw 1,002 pies in an attempt to break the record of 815 set in 2013. Patch High now plans to submit its claim on the record to the Guiness World Records organization. 
 
Courtesy Virginia Kozak
Patch High School students hold up numbers ahead of a massive shaving cream pie fight at Patch Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany March 12. The students threw 1,002 pies in an attempt to break the record of 815 set in 2013. Patch High now plans to submit its claim on the record to the Guiness World Records organization. Courtesy Virginia Kozak (Courtesy Virginia Kozak)
Patch High School students hold up numbers ahead of a massive shaving cream pie fight at Patch Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany March 12. The students threw 1,002 pies in an attempt to break the record of 815 set in 2013. Patch High now plans to submit its claim on the record to the Guiness World Records organization. 
 
Courtesy Virginia Kozak
Patch High School students hold up numbers ahead of a massive shaving cream pie fight at Patch Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany March 12. The students threw 1,002 pies in an attempt to break the record of 815 set in 2013. Patch High now plans to submit its claim on the record to the Guiness World Records organization. Courtesy Virginia Kozak (Courtesy Virginia Kozak)
A Patch High School student is rendered unrecognizable during a March 12, 2015, shaving cream pie fight on Patch Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany. Students attempted to set a new world record for such pie fights.

Courtesy  Virginia Kozak
A Patch High School student is rendered unrecognizable during a March 12, 2015, shaving cream pie fight on Patch Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany. Students attempted to set a new world record for such pie fights. Courtesy Virginia Kozak (Courtesy Virginia Kozak)
Students make a mess as they throw shaving cream pies during an attempt at breaking the world record for shaving cream pie fights. The Patch High School team, led by the school's math honor society, threw 1,002 pies. If recognized by Guiness World Records, it will set a new record. 

Courtesy Virginia Kozak
Students make a mess as they throw shaving cream pies during an attempt at breaking the world record for shaving cream pie fights. The Patch High School team, led by the school's math honor society, threw 1,002 pies. If recognized by Guiness World Records, it will set a new record. Courtesy Virginia Kozak (Courtesy Virginia Kozak)
Patch High School Principal Danny Robinson couldn't escape the shaving cream during the pie fight on March 12, 2015, at Patch Barracks, Germany. The event, sponsored by the schools math honors society, was part of an effort to commemorate "Pi Day," which celebrates the mathematical constant 3.14. 

Courtesy Virginia Kozak
Patch High School Principal Danny Robinson couldn't escape the shaving cream during the pie fight on March 12, 2015, at Patch Barracks, Germany. The event, sponsored by the schools math honors society, was part of an effort to commemorate "Pi Day," which celebrates the mathematical constant 3.14. Courtesy Virginia Kozak (Courtesy Virginia Kozak)

STUTTGART, Germany — The mathematical constant pi has long struck fear into the hearts of the numerically challenged. But at Patch High School, pi — 3.14 — has proved to be a messy inspiration for seeking to set a world record.

Just ahead of nationally recognized “Pi Day,” which naturally falls on March 14, members of Patch’s Math Honors Society got to work planning what they hoped would be the biggest shaving cream pie fight in history.

“We decided we had to go epic,” said Patch High School math teacher Daniel Coapstick, who led the effort.

To date, the largest shaving cream pie fight in history involved 815 pies by a group from Arizona in 2013, according to Guinness World Records. On March 12, the Patch team, which comprised 550 high school students, together with 120 elementary school pupils and community members, claimed it reached a record-smashing tally of 1,002 pies. That still must be verified by Guinness.

In a Facebook posting on the Guinness World Records site, Patch student Kjia Stith declared victory.

“Alexander M. Patch American High School just set the record with 1002 people on Thursday March 12 2015. I was there and I was lucky 1002 :). It was soooooo fun!” Stith wrote.

The next step is to send the video evidence to Guinness World Records’ headquarters in London for a final decision, which is expected in a few weeks.

The cost of getting an official Guiness judge to Stuttgart — $8,000 — was too high for the Patch team, so numerous cameras were on hand at Patch Barracks to document the fight from every angle. In all, there are about two hours of footage to provide the judges, Coapstick said.

Even without bringing in a judge, the effort wasn’t cheap or simple.

“We had a bit of a dilemma for getting enough shaving cream,” said Patch office assistant Susan Phillips, who led the shaving cream collection campaign. “We ended up getting a total of 620 cans.”

Phillips worked with commissary officials, who in turn worked with supplier Proctor & Gamble, to get the shaving cream at a discounted price of $1.29 per can, she said. To help collect funds for the pie fight, the Math Honors Society held a bake sale — selling pies, of course.

Virginia Kozak, a Patch High office assistant who helped to get base approvals for the event, said it was a logistical challenge to organize the event.

“We got a lot of help from the garrison. Normally this would have taken two, three months, and we got this done in less than two weeks,” Kozak said. “We worked very hard and it was great. Every second of it.”

vandiver.john@stripes.com

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