Photo by Souad Abul-Khoudoud
First place Middle School Science Olympiad winners Russell Middle School Maroon Team going to compete in Nationals May 16 and 17 at University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL. Left to Right: Carmen Hsieh, Brandon Staton, Maya Abul-Khoudoud, Zach Raich, Claire Gussler, Aaron Aldrich, Devon Atkins, Chandler Nguyen, Sean Smith, Ayush Prasad, Alicia Lui, Leah Motimaya, Josh Elliott, Abby McBrayer.
Russell Middle School’s Science Olympiad maroon team allowed Russell to capture its sixth straight and 10th overall state title in competition at Western Kentucky University.
The winners will advance to the national event May 16-17 in Orlando.
RMS Coach Derrick Elliott is very proud of his team members and the success the teams have had.
"This has been a great group of kids. They have worked very hard, especially after our Regional tournament. They have been preparing since September and all that work paid off. I'm very proud of what they have accomplished," he said.
"This was an especially tough and close tournament. At times it looked like we wouldn't win, but the students kept doing their best and pulled it out in the end. They have supported each other all year and really rallied during the tournament."
Elliott said he can pinpoint the reasons for his team’s success.
"Our success is due, in large part, to the support we get from our district and building administration, our staff, and especially the community and parents. Parents and volunteers have helped us in coaching events and transportation.
“They get their kids to practice several times each week, even on Saturdays. They support us at tournaments and help get students where they need to be. And of course we have great students. So dedicated and committed to being the best they can possibly be. When the State tournament comes around, they were certainly ready to do their best."
Russell Middle School Principal Shawn Moore has nothing but praise for his students and coaches.
“The Science Olympiad success doesn't come easy. The coaches, players and parents make sacrifice their ally.
“These individuals will do whatever is necessary to attain their goals. They practice after school, weekends and even on the way to competitions.
“The other component to their success is they don't complain and just outwork their opponents,” Moore said.
This year’s competition was very close with Russell’s Maroon team finishing just six points ahead of the second place team. Russell’s White team took third place and the Gold team finished in the top 10 in eighth place. Members of each are as follows:
Katie Bess, Josh Elliott, Leah Motimaya, Chandler Nguyen, Ayush Prasad, Aaron Aldrich, Devan Atkins, Alicia Liu, Zach Raich, Brandon Staton, Maya Abul-Khoudoud, Carmen Hsieh, Claire Gussler, Abby McBrayer, Sean Smith
Riad Abul-Khoudoud, Zach Parikh, Emily Punzal, Adam Sorrell, Alex Woolley, Zaida Jones, Connor McGinnis, Josh Crum, Sean Malone, Connor Rigsby, Karim Abul-Khoudoud, Emily Do, Olivia Martin, Cameron Parikh, Sarah Baird
Will Casto, Jamie Nance, Krystiana Scott, Naail Tariq, Wesley Steele, Amber Walden, Meghan Walter, Hannah Greenhill, Jules Scott, Max Cantrell, Gabe Floyd, Josh Griffith, Maddie Justice, Lee Lee Knupp
Anna Barfield, Jensen Smith, Maddy McCloud
2014 Russell Middle School Science Olympiad State Tournament Medal Winners
Coaches – Derrick Elliott, Christa Campbell, Steve Branim, Kim Suttles
Katie Bess – Gold (1st place) in Can’t Judge a Powder, Crime Busters, and Write It Do It
Josh Elliott – Gold in Write It Do It
Leah Motimaya – Gold in Experimental Design
Chandler Nguyen – Gold in Experimental Design
Ayush Prasad – Gold in Can’t Judge A Powder, Crime Busters, and Heredity. Silver medal in Anatomy
Aaron Aldrich – Gold in Boomilever, Bronze in Helicopters
Devan Atkins – Silver in Dynamic Planet
Alicia Liu – Gold in Heredity and Water Quality, Silver in Anatomy
Zach Raich – Gold in Water Quality and Experimental Design, Silver in Dynamic Planet
Maya Abul-Khoudoud – Gold in Wheeled Vehicle, Sounds of Music, and Robo-Cross
Carmen Hsieh – Gold in Wheeled Vehicle and Sounds of Music
Claire Gussler – Silver in Entomology
Abby McBrayer – Silver in Entomology
Sean Smith – Gold in Boomilever and Robo-Cross, Bronze in Helicopters
Riad Abul-Khoudoud – Gold in Rotor Egg Drop, Silver in Boomilever
Zach Parikh – Silver in Can’t Judge a Powder
Emily Punzal – Silver in Experimental Design and Write It Do It
Adam Sorrell – Silver in Can’t Judge a Powder, Bronze in Crime Busters
Alex Woolley – Bronze in Shock Value
Zaida Jones – Silver in Experimental Design
Connor Rigsby – Bronze in Shock Value
Karim Abul-Khoudoud – Gold in Rotor Egg Drop, Silver in Boomilever
Emily Do – Silver in Experimental Design
Olivia Martin – Bronze in Rocks & Minerals
Cameron Parikh – Bronze in Rocks & Minerals
Sarah Baird – Silver in Write It Do It, Bronze in Crime Busters
Will Casto – Silver in Crime Busters
Wesley Steele – Gold in Road Scholar
Meghan Walter – Gold in Road Scholar
Josh Griffith – Silver in Crime Busters
Anna Barfield – Bronze in Write It Do It
Jensen Smith – Bronze in Write It Do It
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