WICHITA, Kansas– Grand Haven High School's Science Olympiad team competed in the 2023 Science Olympiad National Tournament on Saturday, May 20. Reporter Lauren Formosa traveled with the team and provided live updates as the tournament progressed.

8:15 a.m. CDT– The Science Olympiad National Tournament is underway at Wichita State University.

Students Jagger Schaendorf and Joseph Mazor began their morning competing in the spectator event "Bridge." Schaendorf and Mazor placed first in the event at the regional and state tournaments and are 2022 "Bridge" national titleholders.

Members of the Grand Haven High School Science Olympiad team, coaches, and parents gathered in the spectators seating area to watch Schaendorf and Mazor compete. 

Mazor explained that both himself and Schaendorf were confident going into the event, having tested similar bridges in Grand Haven leading up to the national tournament. As the test went on, however, Mazor said he could hear the wood start to crack before their bridge eventually broke.  

"I had about 20 seconds to come to grips with the fact it was going to break," Mazor said. "It was a good overall conclusion to the year, but it wasn't what we hoped for. Now it's time to move on. There's more events to come."

Also competing are Justin Hancock and Kyla Streng in "Cell Biology;" Hannah Black and Cale Currie in "Evironmental Chemistry;" and Connor Gabel, Seth Hansen, and Josephine Morse in "Experimental Design."

9:30 a.m. CDT– GHHS Science Olympiad is heading into the next round of  tournament events.

Competing now are Gordon Schneider and Kyla Streng in "Anatomy and Physiology;" Ben Heinrich and Jagger Schaendorf in "Fermi Questions;" Cale Currie and Sydney Kroll in "Forensics;" and Hannah Black and Seth Hansen in "Rocks and Minerals."

After completing their first spectator event "Bridge," the team will be in testing until noon when Justin Hancock and Heinrich compete in "Flight." 

Hancock has a hour break between events after competing in "Cell Biology," which he explained was his "hard event," to prepare for his upcoming event with Hansen.

"I think I have the ability to get top three in my next three events, but it really depends because they're tech events," Hancock said. "Flight is probably one of my better events and pre-flight went pretty well today, so we should do really well in that."

10:45 a.m. CDT– Just across the hallway from the GHHS team room, students Cale Currie and Sydney Kroll were ushered out of their event room in McKinley Hall after competing in "Forensics."

Currie ran out to his next event located on the other side of the WSU campus, leaving Kroll time to reflect on how the event went.

"It felt kind of rushed the whole time," Kroll said. "We didn't even get to test the fibers at all and just had to put down random ones and hope for the best. Of course there's always the possibility that other teams were in the same situation, so there's still some slight hope." 

Currie is now competing with Hannah Black and Kyla Streng in "Codebusters." At the same time, Joseph Mazor and Jagger Schaendorf are competing in "Astronomy" while Justin Hancock and Seth Hansen are competing in "Forestry."

12:00 p.m. CDT– The Buccaneers are halfway through the Science Olympiad National Tournament.

In the WSU Heskett Center courts, Justin Hancock and Ben Heinrich kicked off the afternoon spectator events with "Flight."

Teammates, coaches, and parents gathered to watch their two rounds of flights, the first of which Hancock described as "too safe." The second flight lasted for around two minutes and 23 seconds before the plane hit the raised volleyball net in the courts rafters.

"It wasn't a disaster, but it could have been better," Hancock said. "I have one event left and I feel pretty good, but it could go either really well or really bad."

Other students competing in this time block are Hannah Black and Cale Currie in "Chemistry Lab;" Connor Gabel and Jagger Schaendorf in "Disease Detectives;" and Seth Hansen and Joseph Mazor in "WiFi Lab."

1:15 p.m. CDT– Coming off of "Flight," the GHHS Science Olympiad team moved down the court to watch Jagger Schaendorf and Gordon Schneider compete in "Trajectory."

The spectators from Grand Haven watched and cheered as the pair hit each of their targets, bringing in a personal win for the team after a round of disappointing events for some students.

This time block also included students Seth Hansen and Joseph Mazor competing in "Detector Building;" Ryan Bell and Connor Gabel competing in "Dynamic Planet;" and Sydney Kroll and Kyla Streng competing in "Green Generation."

2:30 p.m. CDT–  As the Science Olympiad National Tournament wraps up, students Justin Hancock and Gordon Schneider finished their time at WSU with a great run in "Scrambler."

Hancock and Schneider went in with a goal of getting as close as possible to the barrier without cracking the egg attached to their car. On their second run of the event, the car stopped 1.7 centimeters away, putting the team in range for what Schneider said could be a first place score. 

"I'm feeling amazing, Schneider said. "The fact that we had to improvise some of the mechanisms during the event and were still able to get 1.7 centimeters close was awesome."  

Finishing off the Bucs time at nationals, Seth Hansen and Joseph Mazor competed in "It's About Time;" Ben Heinrich and Jagger Schaendorf competed in "Remote Sensing;" and Cale Currie and Kyla Streng competed in "Write It Do It."

Official scores and placements will be available following tonight's award ceremony.

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