Local High Schools Compete in LLCC’s Regional Academic Challenge

By Benjamin Cox on February 6, 2020 at 12:47pm

Approximately 280 students from 18 area high schools competed in the 24th annual regional Academic Challenge on Tuesday at Lincoln Land Community College. Students competed as individuals and as teams (of up to 14 students) testing in their choice of two of these subjects – biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, mathematics and physics. The tests are written by teams of college and university faculty and are designed to present a challenge to high school students.

LLCC Mathematics Professor Matt Vespa says the competition is designed to show students the value and the use of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers and the application of STEM in every day use.

Teams that place either first or second within their respective divisions at the regional level are eligible to advance to the sectional competition to be held next month. Third place teams also advance if there are eight or more teams competing in a regional division.

Those teams advancing to sectional competition include: Division 300 (high schools with 300 students or less) – Pawnee and New Berlin; Division 700 (high schools with 301-700 students) – Pleasant Plains, Williamsville and Sacred Heart-Griffin; and Division 1500 (high schools with 701-1,500 students) – Chatham-Glenwood and Jacksonville. Individuals that placed first or second in any division, but whose team did not advance, are eligible to participate in the sectional competition (see individual rankings below). Teams and individuals that score high enough at the sectional competition will advance to the state finals, which will be held April 20-23 at Eastern Illinois University.

Thanks to support from the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers, a $200 LLCC Foundation scholarship was awarded at the event. Katie Nix from Athens High School was selected at random from all high school seniors participating in the Academic Challenge as the recipient.

New Berlin Varsity Team Front row, l-r: Cody Clair, Rylie Crawford, Sierra Eigenmann, Daniel Kloppe, Jessha Merreighn and Maria Olson; back: Gabe Powell, Abby Roberts, Ella Rogers, Grace Savage, Payton Schurman and Kristen McGuire (team coach)

Division 300 teams participating: Greenview, Hartsburg-Emden, Mt. Pulaski, New Berlin and Pawnee

Individual Rankings

First – Carsen Jarrett, Pawnee
Second – Cassie Bradbury, Pawnee; Daniel Kloppe, New Berlin
Third – Payton Schurman, New Berlin

First – Gabe Powell, New Berlin
Second – Brandon Sharp, Pawnee; Jeremy White, Pawnee; Teagan Wyss, Mt. Pulaski; Abby Roberts, New Berlin
Third – Chloe Olson, Mt. Pulaski; Maria Olson, New Berlin

Computer Science
First – Nigel Adams, Mt. Pulaski; Jaron Yakle, Mt. Pulaski
Second – Lucas Schultz, Greenview
Third – Teagan Wyss, Mt. Pulaski

Engineering Graphics
First – Nigel Adams, Mt. Pulaski
Second – Jaron Yakle, Mt. Pulaski; Evan Rohlfs, Hartsburg-Emden

First – Jeremy White, Pawnee
Second – Spencer Davis, Hartsburg-Emden
Third – Maria Olson, New Berlin; Grace Savage, New Berlin; Daniel Kloppe, New Berlin

First – Dylan Held, Pawnee; Sierra Eigenmann, New Berlin; Creighton Monroe, Greenview; Spencer Davis, Hartsburg-Emden
Second – Chase Curtis, Pawnee
Third – Autumn Benhart, Mt. Pulaski

First – Nick Neuber, Pawnee
Second – Kaylee Wilham, Mt. Pulaski
Third – Isabella Wade, Mt. Pulaski; Gabe Powell, New Berlin; Sierra Eigenmann, New Berlin

Pleasant Plains Varsity Team Front row, l-r: Caroline Jachino, Anna Kanllakan, Macy Kanllakan, Bradley Lessman, Robbie Monke, Braden Moore and Anna Mooore; back: Luke Ozenkoski, Evan Saebeler, Asya Smith, Jake Stern, Kameron Wolters, Hannah Yohannes, Brian Zaborac and Brian Conklin (team coach)

Division 700 teams participating: Athens, Auburn, Nokomis, North Mac, Pleasant Plains, Riverton, Sacred Heart-Griffin and Williamsville.

Individual Rankings

First – Mikayla Hady, Sacred Heart-Griffin
Second – Thomas Lieber, Nokomis
Third – Grace Lambert, Sacred Heart-Griffin

First – Erika Fuhrman, Sacred Heart-Griffin
Second – Brian Zaborac, Pleasant Plains; Sofia Lowis, Sacred Heart-Griffin
Third – Nathan Clack, Williamsville

Computer Science
First – Luke Ozenkoski, Pleasant Plains; Bradley Leesman, Pleasant Plains
Second – Evan Herpstrieth, Nokomis; JD Waldron, Williamsville
Third – Austin Brown, North Mac; Logan Taylor, Athens; Jade Jett, Nokomis; Rachel Schlueter, Athens; Olivia Bohannan, Athens

Engineering Graphics
First – Evan Saebeler, Pleasant Plains
Second – Luke Ozenkoski, Pleasant Plains
Third – Bradley Leesman, Pleasant Plains

First – Sophie Sass, Sacred Heart-Griffin
Second – Callie Barnes, Nokomis
Third – Luke Mathews, Sacred Heart-Griffin; Sophia Keller, Nokomis

First – Tucker Vonbehren, Sacred Heart-Griffin
Second – Corey Beaver, Williamsville
Third – Maia Casterline, Nokomis

First – Max Beard, Sacred Heart-Griffin
Second – Anna Kanllakan, Pleasant Plains
Third – Tyrus Thomason, Auburn; Taygan Greff, North Mac

JHS Varsity Team Front row, l-r: Joey Gallo, RJ Grojean, Saylor Hayes, Jake Hembrough, Nicholas Hester, Kaelyn Hutson and Esha Kulkarni; back: Tyler Peters, Noah Pruitt, Gavin Roegge, Carlos Rubin de Celis, Abby Schumacher, Christian Soltermann, Megan Walker and Cindy Arnold (team coach)

Division 1500 teams participating: Chatham-Glenwood, Jacksonville, Rochester, Springfield and Springfield Southeast

Individual Rankings

First – Rachel Emery, Glenwood
Second – Kush Patel, Southeast; Julia Mitra, Springfield
Third – Grace Tolentino, Glenwood

First – Wyatt Wethington, Glenwood
Second – Jake Hembrough, Jacksonville
Third – Trey Moulton, Glenwood; Rachel Emery, Glenwood

Computer Science
First – Adrian Russo, Springfield
Second – Christian Soltermann, Jacksonville
Third – Ryan O’Dell, Rochester

Engineering Graphics
First – Ashton Wilbern, Glenwood
Second – Joey Gallo, Jacksonville
Third – Ethan Sommer, Springfield

First – Grace Tolentino, Glenwood
Second – Sarah Reuben, Glenwood; Grayson Hatch, Rochester
Third – Paige Olson, Rochester; Elodie Rowley, Rochester

First – Adrian Russo, Springfield
Second – Christian Soltermann, Jacksonville
Third – Trey Moulton, Glenwood; Ryan McClintock, Rochester

First – Luke Lindberg, Glenwood
Second – Sarah Reuben, Glenwood
Third – Parker Ward, Southeast