Science Olympiad places fifth in their first home tournament

After competing in their first home tournament, the Thunderkat Klash, the Science Olympiad team placed fifth overall, with nine pairs placing in the top three of their events

Annika Lehan, JAG editor-in-chief

The Science Olympiad team held their first ever home tournament, the Thunderkat Klash, in collaboration with the St. James Academy Science Olympiad team, on Saturday, Dec. 1. The team placed fifth overall.

Nine teams placed in the top three of their events: junior A.J. Lee in Astronomy, freshmen Aiden Burke and Garrett Cumbie in Boomilever, Lee and junior Logan Oesterreich in Fermi Questions, junior Eva Burke and Aiden in Fossils, Eva and junior Joan Downey in Herpetology, sophomore Alex Whipple in Mission Possible, Whipple and sophomore Andrew Gawith in Mousetrap Vehicle, seniors Sydney Clarkin, Aniston Cumbie and Ambria Shawger in Protein Modeling and Aiden and freshman Patrick Mack in Wright Stuff. There were fifteen placements total.

According to senior Liz Fraka, the tournament went well due to hours of time put in by both students and parents.

“This meet was really important because not only were we competing at this tournament, [but] we are also completely in charge of making sure it runs as smoothly as it possibly can be,” Fraka said. “There was probably some strain of having to put on the competition as well as compete, but I think we’re overall very pleased.”

Senior Andrew Thomas believed that the team benefited from having the opportunity to host their own tournament.

“[The tournament] let us become more well known in the Science Olympiad community and showed that we are a force to be reckoned with,” Thomas said. “It also let us fundraise.”

Libby Mullican

The team raised money through the concession stand, with all profits being split between the Science Olympiad team and the Booster Club. Along with fundraising, hosting the event consisted of assigning homerooms to all of the teams, finding places in the school for the individual events such as the senior cafe and the theater and announcing the awards, as well as coming in early and staying late to set and clean up the event.

While hosting the event may have been exciting, according to senior Deanna Newman, competing in the tournament as well as running the events proved to be difficult.

“The challenging part of hosting and participating in the event was competing in the competition as well as volunteering in different areas,” Newman said. “[We had to volunteer at] the concession stand and help visiting teams find their event rooms in between event blocks.”

However, Newman saw how hosting this tournament brought the team closer.

“The team definitely bonded through this meet,” Newman said. “There was a great sense of camaraderie throughout the planning and the actual meet, [which will help us] continue to progress as a team [along with our] dedication and hard work.”

For Fraka, the team’s support for one another was motivation to do better.

“We all rely on each other and form a human chain of support,” Fraka said. “We definitely have our moments where things descend into mild chaos, but it’s all good because that sort of banter helps us want to do well so that our teammates can do well.”

Thomas believed that this event not only brought them closer as a team, but also towards their future goals.

“The team [supports] each other to succeed in our events and deadlines and to meeting our goals of winning state,” Thomas said. “I think the meet went very successfully because we found out what we did well, and what we still need to prepare for the future.”

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