Saber Science Olympiad teams turn in good efforts at state tournament

EAST LANSING — The words “state finals” bring a standard that means the “best of the best” to most people.

 Manistee Catholic Central Junior and Senior High School Science Olympiad team coaches knew they were going to see some strong competition last weekend at the state finals. The two Saber squads were among 400 teams from across the state that started the quest to reach that level last fall.

Both Manistee Catholic Central teams won regional tournaments for their respective levels in March and that allowed them to join 94 other junior and senior high school teams at the state finals on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing. It was an opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the best young scientific minds in the state.

Members of the MCC Junior and Senior High School Science Olympiad Teams at MSU’s Sparty Statue. The teams were competing at Michigan State University

Members of the MCC Junior and Senior High School Science Olympiad Teams at MSU’s Sparty Statue. The teams were competing at Michigan State University

Manistee Catholic Central junior high school coach Ed Kolanowski was very pleased with the effort of all of the students on his team. Many of his team had previous state final experience and weren’t intimidated by their surroundings.

“Only six of the 15 students on the team were newcomers to Science Olympiad this year,” said Kolanowski. “Our students placed in 16 of the 23 events they participated in which was a very good effort. Many hours of long work and preparation culminate in this tournament competition among the brightest student in the State of Michigan.”

Members of the junior high school team making the trip to East Lansing were Joseph Buswinka, Sean Dougherty, Preston Picardat, Max Papenfuss, John Slivka, Celia Star Chief, Sarah Bialik, Emily Golembiewski, Barry Seymour, Austin VanAelst, Julia Borucki, Autumn Carter, Jacob McComb, Molly McLinden, Elizabeth Slivka and  Devin Loper. Kolanowski said all of them deserve credit for their hard work throughout the year.

Top efforts for the Manistee Catholic Central Junior High team at the state finals were  Ellie Slivka and Julia Borucki, who placed 13th in Crime Busters and 16th in Can’t Judge a Powder.

The high school team is coached by Joyce Bergel, and she was pleased with the effort and accomplishment of her team this year. Many of the team take part in a variety of events at school that often makes if difficult for them to find the time to practice.

“This was the first state competition for over half of the team, and they all worked very hard,” said Bergel.

MCC high school students who placed in the first tier included: Blake Robke and Justin Feliczak who placed 16th in Boomilever.

Member of the high school team taking part in the state finals were Ben Feliczak, Justin Feliczak, Anna Buswinka, Michael Deising, Jodi Janowiak, Mia Hogan, Blake Robke, Chad Robke, Lauren Golembiewski, Joseph Slivka and Maegan Sorenson.

Both Kolanowski and Bergel praised the efforts of  the volunteer coaches. All of them have put in countless hours over the past several months to help prepare the students for the tournaments.  The coaches said without the efforts of the volunteer coaches it wouldn’t be possible to compete at the level the Saber teams have in the past several years at the regional and state competition.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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