Austin, San Antonio, McAllen teams triumphant at 2015 Loggerhead Challenge

February 09, 2015

By Cindie Powell

PORT ARANSAS, Texas — Students from Chaparral Star Academy in Austin took first and third place honors at the 2015 Loggerhead Challenge, the southern Texas regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) on Saturday, February 7.

Hosted by the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University, the competition was held on the campus of The University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

The team from San Antonio’s Tom C. Clark High School won second place, and McAllen Memorial High School’s Team B received the Dr. Wes Tunnell Sportsmanship Award. Named for the widely respected ocean scientist and associate director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, the sportsmanship award goes to the team judged by competition officials to best embody the spirit of earnest competition while demonstrating exemplary decorum.

Other participating schools were Gregory-Portland High School, San Antonio’s James H. Madison High School, and Corpus Christi’s Foy H. Moody High School. In all, 10 teams competed.

Chaparral Star Academy’s Team A — Kimberly Brockhausen, Alex Clarke, Brady Romero, Jason Cannon and Tad Ellsworth, with Coach Kris Barnett and Assistant Coach Allyson Fox — will compete in the national NOSB finals in Ocean Springs, Miss., April 23-26, where they will face more than 20 other teams from across the nation, including another Texas team. Texas Sea Grant also hosts the Dolphin Challenge, the regional competition for northern Texas, which will be held in Galveston on February 28.

The sportsmanship award at the national NOSB competition for the past two years have been won by Texas teams — in 2013 by Corpus Christi’s Annapolis Christian Academy, who won the Loggerhead Challenge that year, and in 2014 by Houston’s Langham Creek High School, last year’s Dolphin Challenge winners.

NOSB is a quiz bowl-style competition, in which students answer questions in all disciplines of the ocean sciences: biology, chemistry, physics, geology, geography and the social sciences. It is managed nationally by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. NOSB is designed to encourage and support the next generation of marine scientists, policy makers, teachers, explorers, researchers, technicians and informed citizens to be stewards of the ocean. About 2,000 students from more than 300 high schools participate each year.



First Place, Chaparral Star Academy, Team A: From left, Coach Kris Barnett, Kimberly Brockhausen, Tad Ellsworth, Alex Clarke, Jason Cannon, Brady Romero and Assistant Coach Allyson Fox. (High-resolution image.)

Second Place, Tom C. Clark High School: Coach Shannon Sahabi, Thomas Ferrer, Panos Papanikolaou, Ben Gaytan, Kevin Choy and Isaiah Butcher. (High-resolution image.)

Third Place, Chaparral Star Academy, Team B: From left, Coach Kris Barnett, Karina Gaona, Megan Clarke, Eli Ellsworth, Keath Guckian and Assistant Coach Allyson Fox. (High-resolution image.)

Wes Tunnell Sportsmanship Award, McAllen Memorial High School, Team B: From left, front row, Joanna Garza and Miranda Garcia; second row, Melissa Guevara, Edith Santiago, Coach Antonio Villarreal, Leslie Houston and Coach Jessica Kaiser. (High-resolution image.)


Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.