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SciOly competes at state

Georgia Dougherty, Managing Editor

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LT’s Science Olympiad varsity team plus 10 alternates drove down to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Friday, April 20 to check out the campus and study. The next day, they competed in the hopes of qualifying for nationals against 49 teams, and ended up finishing seventh overall.

“Overall we’re always pushing to get to nationals, but seventh out of 49 is pretty good,” assistant coach Angela Patel said. “We’re still in the top showing and we had some events that have shown better than ever.”

Although overall the team got seventh, and needed to be top two to qualify for nationals, some groups scored extremely high in their events, winning individual medals. Captain John Quinlan ‘19 and Charlotte Hank ‘19 got second in the Game On event, Chris Hemauer ‘19 and Maria Cienawski ‘19 placed second in Herpetology, captain Grace Dekoker ‘19 and Sebastian Ochoa ‘19 got second in Anatomy and Physiology and Jimmy O’Connor ‘19 and Michael Korenchan ‘19 were state champions for Optics, Dekoker said.

“I’m happy with [placing second] because it was a new event my freshman year and I picked it up right away since I was kind of familiar with the program they used, so I’ve been slowly developing it,” Quinlan said. “This is the last year they are doing this event since the events rotate year to year so it was good to do well the last time they had it.”

The participants prepared for state by taking lots of tests and were allowed one cheat sheet to use with their event,  depending on whether their event allowed it. Out of the events of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, coding, programming and building, the team members each competed in two to four events on Saturday, Patel said.

“Falli always is an advocate for taking tests as practice,” Dekoker said. “They are for sure the best way to study, especially since our goal is that you don’t want to be surprised. If you don’t know a question that’s fine, but you don’t want to think, ‘I didn’t know that I was going to be tested on that.’ That’s why we expose ourselves to all these different types of tests and all these types of test questions, so we can prepare ourselves the best we can.”

Although they are a competitive team, the coaches try to diminish the pressure for the team at state by livening up the environment through dressing up for theme days, Patel said. SciOly members graced their events in Hawaiian themed costumes, wearing coconut bras, grass skirts and Hawaiian shirts.

“The season was a lot of fun,” Quinlan said. “I met a ton of people and being a captain and being on varsity for the first time was a lot of fun because I feel like I’m contributing more to the team than I was in previous years. I’m looking forward to next year and the next events and trying to prepare.”

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