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Stilwell wins 2019 Middle School Science Bowl

Stilwell (West Des Moines) Middle School's team 2 defeated defending champion Ames 58-52 to claim the championship of the 2019 Ames Laboratory Regional Middle School Science Bowl here on Feb. 16. Stilwell will now represent the Ames Laboratory/Iowa Region at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Science Bowl® in Washington, DC April 25-29, 2019.

Due to weather cancellations and scheduling conflicts, the original field of 32 teams was reduced to 29 and included several schools who brought two teams. Stilwell 2 went undfeated throughout the morning qualifying rounds and won all five matches in the 16-team double-elimination championship round. Ames 1 lost its first-round match to the Stilwell 1 team before working its way back through the challenge bracket to earn a spot in the championship match, including a 54-52 rematch against Stilwell 1.

In the championship match, the Stilwell 2 team of Owen Kouba, Henry Golay, Jackson Keith, Rose Penar and Ayden Murenzi jumped out to a comfortable lead. But in the second half, Ames' Aneesh Shrotriya, Siray Zhu, Jacques Attinger, Mengze Li and Adrian Guan answered back-to-back qestions to pull to within six points before time expired. Pella Middle School finished third and Indian Hills (Clive) was fourth.

Championship bracket results

First Place
Stilwell Team 2

(Seated, l-r) Ayden Murenzi, Owen Kouba, Henry Golay; (back, l-r) Coach Bryan Bacehowski, coach Shelley Urban, Jackson Keith, Rose Penar and Ames Laboratory Director Adam Schwartz.

Second Place
Ames Team 1

(Seated, l-r) Jacques Attinger Suray Zhu, Mengze Li; (Back, l-r) Coach Jordan DiLorenzo, Adrian Guan, Aneesh Shrotriya, coach Robyn Reisetter and Ames Laboratory Director Adam Schwartz.

Third Place

(Seated, l-r) Stephen Gaul, Taryn Peffers,  Wyatt Van Dyke (back, l-r) Donovan Helle, Kieran Van Voorst, Coach Jeff Siewert and Ames Laboratory Director Adam Schwartz.