Houston’s Langham Creek High School wins 2014 Dolphin Challenge

February 05, 2014

By Terrie Looney

GALVESTON, Texas — Langham Creek High School’s “A” team took top honors at the 2014 Dolphin Challenge, the northern Texas regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at Texas A&M University at Galveston.

At the end of a day-long marine science-focused competition that was marked by several close scores, Houston’s Langham Creek defeated the “A” team from The Village School, a private school also located in Houston, by only three points after two tie-breakers between the two teams.

“This was the most intense NOSB competition I have ever seen,” said Regional Coordinator Terrie Looney, the Chambers and Jefferson Counties Coastal and Marine Resources Extension Agent for the Texas Sea Grant College Program, which hosted the competition. “I am amazed by the level of knowledge that these students have."

Coached by Amanda Sebesta, Langham Creek’s team “A” was Madison Selldin, Jaffar Syed, Amanda Fontenot, Aleeya Ali and Malek Williams. The Village School’s team “A” was Lucinda Pastora, Michael Wong, Ryan Quach, Alexander Kiehn and Mayank Agrawal, who were coached by Mila Taylor.

Third place honors went to the “A” team from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, a two-year, public residential high school in Hot Springs. The team, coached by Lindsey Waddell, was Merin Duke, Hunter Hill, Erica Benoit and Brittany Lampkin.

Sanger High School’s “A” team received the Ralph Rayburn Sportsmanship Award, which is given to the team judged by competition officials to best embody the spirit of earnest competition while demonstrating exemplary decorum and character. The award is named in honor of Texas Sea Grant’s late Associate Director and Extension Program Leader, who worked tirelessly throughout his long career to help promote the wise use and stewardship of Texas’ marine resources. Team members were Kiersten Bradley, Zach Fargo, Tyler Sanders, Jacy Beam and Lexie Mulford. They were coached by Kathy Vidourek.

In all, 15 teams of high school students participated. In addition to the winning teams, the Arkansas School, The Village School and Sanger High School also had “B” teams participating, and Langham Creek brought “B” and “C” teams. Other schools participating in the Dolphin Challenge were Bosqueville High School, Coppell High School, Cy-Woods High School in Cypress, and the Jack E. Singley Academy in Irving, which brought “A,” “B” and “C” teams.

NOSB is managed nationally by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. It 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. In 2014, about 2,000 students from more than 300 high schools will participate.

There are two regional NOSB competitions held in Texas each year, and both are hosted by Texas Sea Grant. The Loggerhead Challenge, for students in the southern part of Texas, will be held March 1 at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

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.

Pictured:

2014 Dolphin Challenge Winners Langham Creek High School’s “A” Team: From left, Amanda Fontenot, Jaffar Syed, Coach Amanda Sebesta, Malek Williams, Madison Selldin and Aleeya Ali. (Texas Sea Grant photo.)

The Village School’s “A” Team received second place in the 2014 Dolphin Challenge: Back row, from left, Ryan Quach, Alexander Kiehn, Mayank Agrawal, Michael Wong and Lucinda Pastora; front row, Coach Mila Taylor. (Texas Sea Grant photo)

Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts’ Team “A” won third place in the 2014 Dolphin Challenge: From left, Hunter Hill, Coach Lindsey Waddell, Merin Duke, Brittany Lampkin, Erica Benoit and Jessica Tate. (Texas Sea Grant photo)

Sanger High School’s Team “A” received the Ralph Rayburn Sportsmanship Award at the 2014 Dolphin Challenge: From left, Lexie Mulford, Kiersten Bradley, Coach Kathy Vidourek, Tyler Sanders, Jacy Beam and Zach Fargo. (Texas Sea Grant photo)

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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.