The Leesville Road Varsity Science Olympiad team competed and failed to advance to the state level completion on Saturday, March 20. The Raleigh Regional competition was held at Garner High School.
The competition was originally scheduled for February 13, 2010 but was rescheduled due to adverse weather conditions.
“The snow totally threw us off,” said Nathan Christian Miller, senior and captain. “We were ready back in February, but then people got sick and couldn’t come. We lost all our power, so we kind of did really badly.”
Overall, Leesville placed eighth in a field of 20 other high school teams. Only the top seven schools qualified for the state level competition.
“It’s disappointing to be so close, but at the same time, we knew we weren’t at our strongest,” said Miller.
Leesville medaled in eight of the twenty-three events. Nick Van Alstyne, junior, and his partner earned a first place gold medal in the Mousetrap Vehicle event.
“Basically we had to make a car using only up to two mousetraps and some other things. It had to go exactly seven meters and then come back exactly seven meters. We almost had a perfect run actually.”
Van Alstyne believes that Leesville should have easily qualified for states.
“Yeah, me and Soo worked on this thing for like forever. If everyone else on the team actually put some effort into their events, then we should have definitely made states. I think that’s what separates us from schools like Raleigh Charter and NCSSM.”
Van Alstyne and the rest of the team look forward to next year.
“I’ll get to go to states by myself since I placed first in my event, but it’s just not the same without a team. I know we’ll be losing a bunch of seniors next year, but if we work really hard and recruit some strong JV kids from this year, I’m sure we’ll do really well.”
The state competition will be held at North Carolina State University on Saturday, April 25.