Three teams from Grand Haven Area Public Schools competed against 48 high schools and 48 middle school teams in 23 different events during Saturday's Michigan Science Olympiad tournament.
Grand Haven High School placed first in the high school division for the 16th time in the school’s 28 years of participating in the Michigan Science Olympiad tournaments. Lakeshore Middle School received second place and White Pines Middle School finished third place in the middle school division.
The Grand Haven High School and Lakeshore Middle School teams will compete in the National Science Olympiad tournament on Saturday, May 18, at Wright State University, in Dayton, Ohio.
Medals were awarded to the participants of the top six placing teams in the 23 individual events of the Olympiad. Grand Haven High School students received medals in 14 of the 23 events and had a total of 159 points.
Michael Reed, head coach of the Grand Haven High School Science Olympiad Team, said it was difficult to determine where they would end up because the competition remained neck-and-neck throughout the day
"It was a tension-filled day for everyone," Reed said.
Lakeshore Middle School head coach Nathan Mihalek said it’s a great honor to place highly in the state competition.
Mihalek said each year teams step up their efforts and competition becomes more and more challenging.
“You have to work really hard to stay on top,” he said.
White Pines Middle School head coach Rhonda Bird said she is proud of her team's accomplishments.
Everything went "beautifully" and there were a lot of things for parents to cheer about during the events.
"It was unbelievable,” she said.
Bird said some students were disappointed to place two points behind Lakeshore Middle School, which meant they wouldn't travel to the next competition.
Throughout the day, Bird said students performed well.
"We represented Grand Haven in tremendous style," she said.
For the next few weeks, Reed said the teams will continue to practice up until the minute of the national competition. Reed said there won't be one thing in particular they will work on, just practicing, studying and performing.
"We just work and do our best," he said.