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Bishop Ludden’s first B-Level Science Olympiad Team scored a total of 10 medals at the March 6 event at East-Syracuse Minoa High School. The team was comprised of 15 seventh and eighth graders competing against 28 Central New York teams in the Regional Contest. Reigning state champion Eagle Hill Middle School won the contest and leads the other Fayetteville-Manlius team, Wellwood, Jamesville-Dewitt and Marcellus to the state event held at New Paltz on April 30-May 1. Regional Science Olympiad Director Sally Mitchell said, “Ludden’s medal total as a first year team was unprecedented.”

The emotional highlight of the competition was the dramatic Sumobots bronze medal match won by the Gross twins, Alex and Teddy. The Sumobots are robots which battle to force each other out of the ring. The twins were last-minute substitutes in the robot competition and hadn’t touched the device prior to their only loss in their first match. They battled back with hundreds of spectators cheering them on in the final match.

Katherine and Grace Babcock paired up to take bronze in the chemistry event titled,  “Can’t Judge a Powder.” Katherine Babcock and Sarah Mandanas paired up to medal in the Center for Disease Control event titled  “Disease Detective,” while Lilli Proe and Cameron Rustay medaled in Orinthology. John Lara and Sean Relyea took fourth in Car of the Future.

The Gaelic Knights competed in 24 events and had nine medalists with Katherine Babcock scoring two medals and Grace Babcock, Sean Relyea, John Lara, Sarah Mandanas, Cameron Rustay, Alex Gross, Teddy, Gross, and Lilli Proe each taking home one. Other members who contributed valuable scores towards Ludden’s amazing finish were Kara Bilello, Sarah Rose Costello, Alyssa Taddeo, Claire Bouchard and Elise Bouchard. First year coaches Maxine Babcock, Marguerite Kolinski and Linda Mandanaswere especially proud of the team’s commitment to the goal of building a science powerhouse at Bishop Ludden.

“The key to our future success is in our mentoring program,” said Babcock. “We had over 30 juniors and seniors as mentors this year and 24 of those students served as event supervisors at the regionals. We’re still learning ways to use all of our mentors and we are trying to set the stage for a C-Level team to compete on the high school level.”

Dr. Mandanas, a retired  physician who runs the Bishop Ludden Science Lab, believed the greatest triumph was beating the dominant Fayetteville-Manlius teams in several events.

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