Central Academy 2009 Science Bowl Champion

For release: Jan. 31, 2009

Kerry Gibson, Public Affairs, 515-294-1405

AMES, Iowa – It took a rubber match, but Des Moines Central Academy defeated Home Schools of Eastern Iowa 56-22 to win the championship of 19th annual Ames Laboratory/Iowa State University Regional High School Science Bowl here on Saturday, Jan. 31. Ames High School finished third and West Des Moines Valley (Team 1) fourth in the daylong science and mathematics quiz bowl.

Central Academy team captain Alex Crichton (left) and teammate
Kyle Moss work through a math problem during their Science
Bowl championship match against Home Schools of Eastern Iowa.

Central Academy and Home Schools of Eastern Iowa met for the first time in the quarter finals, with Central Academy winning on the last question, 50-46. Home Schools then faced Ames in the semifinal match, holding off a second-half Ames comeback to take a 76-44 victory and earn a rematch against Central Academy. Home Schools won that 82-32 to force a deciding match in the double-elimination tournament. Central Academy slowly built a commanding lead to take the title and the right to advance to the National Science Bowl, April 30-May 5 in Washington D.C. and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.


The win was the first championship for Central Academy after numerous close calls. The school finished second in 2008, 2007, 2005, and 2003 and third in 2006. Competing for Central Academy were Alex Crichton, Kyle Moss and Alice Xu, all seniors, Kerrick Staley, a junior, and freshman Luchang Wang and the team was coached by Jeff Hepburn. Home Schools of Eastern Iowa was represented by senior Laura Weieneth, junior Jeremiah Siochi, and sophomores Luke Serfin, Alan Talmage and Benjamin Weieneth and coached by Alice Talmage.

The Ames team, coached by Joe Brekke, was comprised of seniors Miles Greenwald, Sandy Huang and Zach Heilman, junior Lawrence Chiou, and sophomore Lucy Chen. Ames topped Valley 72-48 to take home the third-place trophy.

A total of 48 teams from 44 schools participated in the event. The top sixteen teams from the morning pool play advanced to the double-elimination bracket in the afternoon. Besides the top four teams named above, the afternoon round included: Pella, Iowa City Regina, Dubuque Community, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, St. Ansgar, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, LeMars, Clear-Creek Amana, Ottumwa, Cedar Falls, West Des Moines Dowling, and Urbandale.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory operated for the DOE by Iowa State University. The Lab conducts research into various areas of national concern, including the synthesis and study of new materials, energy resources, high-speed computer design, and environmental cleanup and restoration.