Central Academy Repeats as 2010 Science Bowl Champion

For release: Jan. 30, 2010

Kerry Gibson, Public Affairs, 515-294-1405

AMES, Iowa –For the second straight year, Des Moines Central Academy emerged as the champion in the Ames Laboratory/Iowa State University Regional High School Science Bowl here on Saturday, Jan. 30. Central Academy didn’t lose a single match in the day-long quiz-bowl event, defeating Ames High School 68-34 in the final match. Dubuque Hempstead finished third and Home Schools of Eastern Iowa was fourth in the event that marked its 20th year.

Central Academy's Luchang WangCentral Academy's Luchang Wang

As champion, Central Academy will represent the Iowa Region at the National Science Bowl®, to be held April 29 - May 4, 2010 in Washington, D.C. and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Central Academy won the championship for the first time last year after finishing second in 2008, 2007, 2005, and 2003 and third in 2006 and made the Sweet 16 brackets at National Science Bowl, earning $1,500 in prize money for the school’s science department.

“This has been quite a year,” said Central Academy coach Jeff Hepburn, who earlier this year was selected for the James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching by the American Chemical Society, to awarded in March. “The kids are phenomenal! They had a great run and deserve all the credit.”

The Central Academy team of seniors Kerrick Staley and Nicolas Swingle, juniors Joel Schneider and James Nassif, and sophomore Luchang Wang breezed through the morning’s round robin competition, winning all four matches with whopping average margin of victory of 142 points. Staley and Wang are the two returnees from last year’s championship team. In the afternoon’s 16-team finals, they topped Boone, Cedar Rapids Xavier, LeMars and Ames, before facing off in a rematch with Ames in the championship.

The Ames team of Lawrence Chiou, Joe Iverson, Lucy Chen and Kavin Kanthasamy was undefeated as well until meeting Central Academy in the quarterfinals. Ames then defeated Hempstead 90-58 to earn the rematch with Central Academy for the championship of the double-elimination tournament. Ames, coached by Joe Brekke, moved up a spot this year, after finishing third in 2009.

A total of 40 teams competed in the event. Besides the placewinners mentioned above, the top 16 teams that competed in the afternoon round included: Bettendorf, Humboldt, Davenport North, Dubuque Wahlert, Chariton, West Des Moines Valley, Des Moines Dowling, LeMars, Urbandale, Boone, Dubuque Senior, and Cedar Rapids Xavier.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science research facility operated by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global challenges.