Grand Haven dominates regional event

Matt DeYoung • Mar 20, 2017 at 8:00 AM

ALLENDALE – Grand Haven schools showed off their brain power at Saturday’s Michigan Science Olympiad regional tournament at Grand Valley State University. 

Competing in the event for the 32nd consecutive year, the Buccaneers placed first in the high school division – the program’s 25th regional championship. Lakeshore Middle School also captured first place, while the White Pines Intermediate School team placed third.

All three teams advance to the state tournament, which will be held April 29 at Michigan State University.


The Buccaneers received medals – given out to the top six finishers – in 22 of the 23 events in the tournament. Grand Haven finished with 65 points at the regional meet. Forest Hills Central was second with 79, and West Ottawa placed third with 143. 

Medal winners for Grand Haven were:

First Place

Ecology: Matthew Marcus and Maiya Yu

Experimental Design: Kaden Kar, Kelsie McManus and Ciana Witherell

Hovercraft: Ronald Hodge and Kaden Kar

Hydrogeology: Brenner Kar and Trent Stegink

Invasive Species: Kendal Kroes and John Richardson

Microbe Mission: Valerie Bobeldyk and John Richardson

Optics: Brenner Kar and Noah Merriman

Remote Sensing: Brenner Kar and Trent Stegink

Rocks and Minerals: John Richardson and Trent Stegink

Towers: Noah Van Abbema and Ciana Witherell

Second Place

Astronomy: Travis Myers and Trent Stegink

Electric Vehicle: Ronald Hodge and Noah Van Abbema

Forensics: Kelsie McManus and Nolan Ruble

Third Place

Anatomy and Physiology: Kendal Kroes and John Richardson

Fourth Place

Chemistry Lab: Ciana Witherell and Maiya Yu

Disease Detectives: Matthew Marcus and Noah Merriman

Game On: Ronald Hodge and Kaden Kar

Materials Science: Kendal Kroes and Maiya Yu

Wind Power: Kaden Kar and Noah Merriman

Fifth Place

Helicopters: Noah Van Abbema and Ciana Witherell

Sixth Place

Dynamic Planet: Brenner Kar and Trent Stegink

Robot Arm: Noah Van Abbema and Ciana Witherell

Ninth Place

Write It Do It: Valerie Bobeldyk and Kelsie McManus

Trial Events

Source Code, Third Place: Jasmine Wang

Pentathlon, Sixth Place: William Mayfield, Noah Merriman, John Richardson and Jasmine Wang

Other team members include Thomas Draper, Ian Dean, Rob Francis, Elizabeth Hodge, Bennett Lowe, Cameron Pikaart, and Gavin Plemon,

Grand Haven is led by head coach Mike Reed. Reed is aided by assistant coaches Luke Anderson, Eric Dykstra, David Funk, Greg Huizenga, Jason Hunter, George Jaeger, Melissa Moerland, Marcella Morrell, Bob Monetza, Julie Olson, Margaret Shay, Robert Shay, Dennis Striegle, Dan Tlachac and Jeremey Wilder.


Lakeshore Middle School received medals — given to the top eight places — in 18 of the 23 events in the tournament. The Lakeshore team, coached by Nate Mihalek, features students in eighth and ninth grades.

Medal winners for Lakeshore Middle School were:

First Place

Anatomy and Physiology: Natalie Currie and Samantha Kasbohm

Disease Detectives: Natalie Currie and Samantha Kasbohm

Dynamic Planet: Carter Brown and Olivia Stevens

Ecology: Peyton Brill and Frank Roberts

Experimental Design: Peyton Brill, Kiya Hammond, Marissa McManus

Fast Facts: Carter Brown and Natalie Currie

Microbe Mission: Carter Brown and Jaxon Hancock

Mission Possible: Grace Doyon and Frank Roberts

Wind Power: Micah Hammond and Frank Roberts

Source Code (Trial Event): Maddie Streng and Morgan Womack

Second Place

Bottle Rockets: Adam Hamilton and Noah TenHagen

Crime Busters: Kiya Hammond and Sammi Ruble

Invasive Species: Kiya Hammond and Frank Roberts

Meteorology: Samantha Kasbohm and Noah TenHagen

Reach For The Stars: Grace Doyon and Samantha Kasbohm

Rocks and Minerals: Kiya Hammond and Olivia Stevens

Towers: Grace Doyon and Sammi Ruble

Pentathlon (Trial Event): Libby Haan, Sophia Jaeger, Tess O'Leary, and Justine Wolfiss

Third Place

Scrambler: Grace Doyon and Sammi Ruble

Fourth Place

Wright Stuff: Grace Doyon and Noah TenHagen

Eighth Place

Road Scholar: Marissa McManus and Lauren Streng

10th Place

Food Science: Jaxon Hancock and Sammi Ruble

11th Place

Optics: Carter Brown and Natalie Currie

15th Place

Hover Craft: Peyton Brill and Frank Roberts

17th Place

Write it - Do it: Peyton Brill and Sammi Ruble


White Pines Intermediate School earned 155 points – 93 points better than last year’s regional total – to place third out of 44 teams. 

“We will now be studying hard to have a great showing at the state tournament at Michigan State University on April 29, where only the top two teams will be selected to go to nationals,” said White Pines coach Rhonda Bird. “I couldn’t be prouder of them. It was a very exciting day.”

Medal winners for White Pines (students in sixth and seventh grade) were:

First Place

Reach For the Stars – Jacob Marcus and Aashray Mandala

Towers – Charlie VanAbbema and Hannah Black

Second Place

Wind Power – Josh McManus and Jake Roberson

Ecology – Henry Abraham and Aashray Mandala

Third Place

Wright Stuff – Charlie VanAbbema and Savannah Dean

Microbe Mission – Henry Abraham and Josephine Morse

Bottle Rockets – Jacob Marcus and Dylan Wunder

Fourth Place

Hovercraft – Carl Jaeger and Dylan Wunder

Fifth Place

Meteorology- Aashray Mandala and Jake Roberson

Food Science- Carl Jaeger and Justin Hancock

Sixth Place

Write it – Do it – Kyla Streng and Kailym Tuggle

Fast Facts – Charlie VanAbbema and Kyla Streng

Anatomy – Aashray Mandala and Henry Abraham

Source Code – Kaitlin Zylstra and Grant Bell

Seventh Place

Optics – Henry Abraham and Joey Mazor

Rocks and Minerals – Joey Mazor and Dylan Wunder

Eighth Place

Pentathlon – Chase Greene, Max Tran, Grant Bell, and Wil Stegink

Ninth Place

Mission Possible – Charlie VanAbbema and Justin Hancock

10th Place

Disease Detectives – Jacob Marcus and Hannah Black

Scrambler – Charlie VanAbbema and Justin Hancock

Dynamic Planet – Carl Jaeger and Josh McManus

12th Place

Invasive Species – Carl Jaeger and Josephine Morse

13th Place

Experimental Design – Carl Jaeger, Joey Mazor, and Dylan Wunder

15th Place

Road Scholar – Jacob Marcus and Hannah Black

Crime Busters – Savannah Dean and Jake Roberson

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