Langham Creek defends Dolphin Challenge crown
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Langham Creek High School’s “A” Team had to win two games in the championship round on Saturday to repeat as champions of the Dolphin Challenge Regional Competition of the national Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), hosted by the Texas Sea Grant College Program.
Langham Creek, coached by Timothy Kraemer and Morgan Larson, defeated Lubbock High School’s “A” Team in both matches to earn a place in the NOSB National Finals, scheduled April 29-May 1 in Galveston, where the team of Andrew Hu, Evan Assael, Kevin Dolan, Nicolas Kasprzak and Emily Martin Mckamie will meet the champions from the 24 other NOSB regional competitions across the country. The Dolphin Challenge, held on the Texas A&M University campus, is one of two regional NOSB competitions held in Texas each year. The Loggerhead Challenge, also hosted by Texas Sea Grant, is held in Corpus Christi.
NOSB is a rigorous high school academic competition were students demonstrate their knowledge of marine and coastal science by answering questions from biology, physics, chemistry, geology, geography, mathematics and the social sciences.
The NOSB competition is intended to increase knowledge of the oceans on the part of high school students, their teachers and parents, and to raise the visibility and public understanding of the national investment in ocean-related research. It is managed by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a nonprofit organization representing 94 of the leading public and private ocean research and education institutions, aquaria and industries with the mission to advance research, education and sound ocean policy.
The Texas Sea Grant College Program, based at Texas A&M University in College Station, is a partnership of university, government and industry focusing on marine research, education and outreach.
A total of 14 teams from 10 schools competed in the Dolphin Challenge. Langham Creek, Lubbock High School, Sanger High School and Lubbock’s Coronado High School each fielded two teams. They were joined in the Dolphin Challenge by teams from Mesquite High School, Rains High School, Cassata High School, Glenda Dawson High School and Rockdale High School.
Dawson High School, from Pearland, won the Ralph Rayburn Sportsmanship Award. Competition officials judged that the team of Yara Aboshady, Molly Pierson, Austin Scott, Robert Utter and Brian Vicari best embodied the spirit of earnest competition while demonstrating exemplary decorum. The team was coached by Cindy Ross and Mark Stamp.
Prior to his death in January 2008, Rayburn was Texas Sea Grant’s much-respected associate director and extension program leader. He worked tirelessly throughout his life to protect marine resources and he was widely hailed as a man of great integrity, intelligence and generosity.
Prior to the opening round of matches Saturday morning, Dolphin Challenge Regional Coordinator Liz Turner presented a Volunteer Service Award to Ruth Mullins. Turner, who is also Texas Sea Grant’s marine education specialist, said the award recognized Mullen’s extensive efforts in recruiting volunteers for both the Dolphin Challenge and the NOSB National Finals.
Langham Creek High School's A Team received the Dolphin Challenge championship trophy from Dr. Piers Chapman (third from left), Head of the Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University. Acceptng the trophy were, from left: Nicolas Kasprzak, Coach Tim Kraemer, Emily Martin Mckamie, Andrew Hu, Kevin Dolan and Evan Assael.
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.