Academic Challenge grabs second in State

On Wednesday, April 17 the GHS Academic Challenge team went on an almost five hour drive to Eastern Illinois University. They went on this long trek to compete against other schools from across Illinois for the Illinois Academic Challenge competition the next day.

The GHS team earned second place in the state competition. “I was excited and surprised when I found out that we placed second in state, since we were previously informed that we didn’t place,” said Senior Evelyn Larson, “I think it was a good way to end the season and promising for next year’s team. I am glad that the whole team got the opportunity to move on to state.”

There were also a few GHS Academic Challenge competitors that scored high in their individual categories such as Larson who got second place in Biology, Junior Sophia Getz who got second in Chemistry and fifth in Math, Senior Lochlan Nowatzki won third place in Engineering Graphics, Senior Marion Schultz scored right behind Nowatzki to earn fourth place in Engineering Graphics, and Senior Kyle Long got fifth in English.

“I was pretty confident in our ability to do well as a team. We have 14 very smart students,” said Long, “We’ve had heavy hitters at all three competitions who were able to medal at some point in the season, and then our unsung heroes went hand in hand with us who really worked hard and were able to keep our team scores up. This gave me a lot of confidence for the team going into the state competition.”

Although only a few of the GHS team members placed in their individual competitions, each member’s score is important for the overall team awards. “This is REAL confusing,” said coach Randi Burken, “Long story short, they normalize all the scores so each test is equal, even though they don’t have the same amount of questions, then find the sum of the normalized scores. That will get you the team scores.”

The GHS Academic Challenge team had a great season. They did well in every single competition they attended and ended up as State Runner-up. Next season looks like it will follow suit.