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Continuing their tradition of excellence

Krystle Wagner • May 18, 2018 at 11:00 AM

The Grand Haven High School Science Olympiad team is in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The team will compete in the 2018 National Science Olympiad Tournament today and Saturday, May 18-19, at Colorado State University.

The team hasn’t made an appearance on the national competition since 2015, according to head coach Mike Reed. 

Now that they’re back at the national level, the Buccaneers will look to continue their long tradition of excellence on the biggest stage — Grand Haven won national championships in 1993, 1994 and 1997. 

This year’s Grand Haven team is among the top 120 high school and middle school teams throughout the country to earn a berth in the national tournament.

Going into the season, Reed, a longtime coach, said he had a good feeling about this year’s team.

The Buccaneers started their season by competing in a 66-team invitational in Ohio. There, Reed said the two teams placed in 13 and 27.

The GHHS team captured first place at the regional tournament  in March, and received medals in 22 of 23 events. Medals are given to the top six places in each event.

At the state competition in April, the team took second place and earned medals in 20 of 23 events.

Since the state competition, which was held at Michigan State University, the team has continued a rigorous practice schedule to prepare for nationals.

The team left Grand Haven on Wednesday morning, and planned to split the nearly 1,150 mile drive into two days. Reed said they plan to stay in the university’s dorms during the competition.

Reed’s budget for the trip was about $19,000.

Given the costs associated with the trip, Reed said they fundraised, planned to implement a pay-to-participate fee, and received some funding from the district.

Residents or businesses interested in donating toward the program’s expenses can make donations out to Grand Haven Area Public Schools, and mail to Mike Reed at the high school, 17001 Ferris St., Grand Haven, MI 49417.

Members of the 2018 Grand Haven High School Science Olympiad team and the events they will compete in at the national tournament:

Anatomy and Physiology: Natalie Currie and Kendal Kroes

Astronomy: Matthew Marcus and Trent Stegink

Chemistry Lab: Brenner Kar and Kendal Kroes

Disease Detectives: Natalie Currie and Noah Merriman

Dynamic Planet: Carter Brown and Brenner Kar

Ecology: Carter Brown and Jasmine Wang

Experimental Design: Kendal Kroes, Noah Merriman and Jasmine Wang

Fermi Questions: Brenner Kar and John Richardson

Forensics: Kiya Hammond and Nolan Ruble

Game On: Ronald Hodge and Jasmine Wang

Helicopters: Nolan Ruble and Noah Van Abbema

Herpetology: Carter Brown and Matthew Marcus

Hovercraft: Thomas Draper and Ronald Hodge

Materials Science: Kendal Kroes and Trent Stegink

Microbe Mission: Noah Merriman and John Richardson

Mission Possible: Thomas Draper and Nolan Ruble

Mousetrap Vehicle: Thomas Draper and Noah Van Abbema

Optics: Noah Merriman and John Richardson

Remote Sensing: John Richardson and Trent Stegink

Rocks and Minerals: Kiya Hammond and Trent Stegink

Thermodynamics: Brenner Kar and John Richardson

Towers: Thomas Draper and Noah Van Abbema

Write It Do It: Matthew Marcus and Jasmine Wang

Additional members of the team are Valerie Bobeldyk, Grace Doyon, Sam Hager, Elizabeth Hodge, Lindsey Hubbell, Sophia Jaeger, Samantha Kasbohm, Bennett Lowe, William Mayfield, Tess O’Leary, Cam Pikaart and Morgan Womack.

Head coach is Mike Reed, and the team’s assistant coaches are Luke Anderson, Todd Diederichsen, Eric Dykstra, David Funk, Greg Huizenga, Jason Hunter, George Jaeger, Nate Kepler, Melissa Moerland, Bob Monetza, Julie Olson, Margaret Shay, Robert Shay, Dennis Striegle, Dan Tlachac, Marcella Weldon and Jeremey Wilder.

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