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Wando Wins Regional Championship

By Sabrina Lavender for the Island Eye News

Right to left: Joseph Hartnett (Captain), Team Coach Jessica Anderson, Ariel Lavender, Coltan Green, Reese Alspector

The Wando High School Marine Science Team took first place in the Southern Stingray Bowl, a regional component of the 20th Annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB). The competition was held at Savannah State University on Saturday, February 4. Competing against 13 other teams from South Carolina and Georgia, the Wando team won all of its qualifying rounds by handy margins to advance to the regional finals, which it won with a final score of 47 to 33. The Wando team will compete against 24 other regional winners at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl April 20 – 23 at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.

Wando fielded a four member team for the competition: Joseph Hartnett (Captain), Reese Alspector, Coltan Green, and Isle of Palms resident, Ariel Lavender. Team Coach, Jessica Anderson, a marine science teacher at Wando, says, “I am so proud of these kids. They’ve spent a lot of time studying on their own in addition to our weekly practices and they deserved this win. After a two point loss in the finals last year they were ready for redemption.

When our captain, Baker Leslie, got the flu the day before this year’s competition the team really stayed focused and stepped up to fill the void of not having her there. Even though she wasn’t able to make the regional competition, Baker will be able to go with us to Nationals. Joseph Hartnett assumed the role of captain and did a fantastic job leading the team. Coltan Green’s experience in competing and his natural love of all things ocean made him a strong competitor, and Ariel Lavendar and Reese Alspector each brought a wealth of knowledge to the team, and both young ladies had a great first competition. We’ll be working hard over the next few weeks to improve on our weaknesses and prepare for the national competition. We are all very excited for the trip!”

In addition to winning an all expense paid trip to the National Finals in Oregon, all of the team members received $100 Amazon gift cards, duffle bags, t-shirts, and, of course, their first place medals. Participation in the competition also makes these students eligible to apply for a National Ocean Program Scholarship.

The NOSB is a quiz-bowl style academic competition that tests students’ knowledge of ocean-related topics, which include cross-disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology. The NOSB is an interdisciplinary ocean science education program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

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