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Living - April 10, 2009

A wonderful odyssey

Some students at Rancho Romero Elementary School in Alamo have been on an odyssey - an Odyssey of the Mind, that is. The school's teams excelled at the San Francisco Bay Regional Competition held Feb. 28 and three of the six advanced to State.

The teams and their coaches are:

Fifth-grade teams - both advanced to state competition

* Problem: Teach Yer Creature. Team: Kyle Bartley, Jaime Chandler, Jillian Freeborn, Connor Pollak, Nick Rango and Sean Thomas; coaches: Wendy Thomas and Judy Bartley. This team won first place in its division.

* Problem: Superstition. Team: Ally Tegner, Annie Sampson, Carson Meehan, Christina Devereaux, Emily Kaye, JT Neach and Justin Kaye; coach: Cathy Sampson. This team won first place in its division.

Fourth-grade team - advanced to state competition

* Problem: Supersition. Team: Ethan Bartley, Griffin Ivanov, Ellery Lewis, Hayden Neustadt, Volney Spalding, Jennifer Sweeney and Jackson Thompson; coaches: Stacey Neustadt and Judy Bartley. This team won second place in its division.

Third-grade teams

* Problem: Teach Yer Creature. Team: Molly Neach, Emily Fishman, Roxy Wilcox, Grant Meehan, Liam Woerner and Spencer Dettlinger; coach:Shannon Neach. This team won second place in the long-term problem and fifth place overall.

* Problem: Superstition. Team: Kailyn Terrell, Natalie Devereaux, Annie Pollak, Isabel Nieman, Caroline Reiser, Nicholas Bortolon and Kevin Peng; coaches: Eric Nieman and Elisa Tinker. This team won seventh place in its division.

Primary division team (K-2)

* Candy Store Team: Tobias Afdahl, Mara Blankenship, Sophia Bottaro, Emma Hayes, Sean Hayes, Avery High, Leyla Lewis and Luke Tyler. This team tied for first place in its division.

Other schools' teams placed as follows:

* Earth Trek Div 1: Sycamore Valley Elementary, third

* Earth Trek Div II: Charlotte Wood Middle School, first

* Earth Trek Div III: San Ramon Valley High, first

* Teach Yer Creature Div 1: Alamo Elementary, fourth; Sycamore Valley Elementary, ninth

* Lost Labor of Heracles Div I: Sycamore Valley, third; Montair, 11th

* Lost Labor of Heraclels Div II: Charlotte Wood, third and fourth; Stone Valley, sixth, eighth and 10th

* Lost Labor of Heraclels Div III: San Ramon Valley, second

* Shock Waves Div III: Monte Vista, second

* Superstition Div IA: Sycamore Valley, sixth

* Superstition Div IB: Sycamore Valley, first

* Superstition Div II: Charlotte Wood, seventh

* Sulperstition Div III: Monte Vista, second

Odyssey of the Mind involves teams that use their creativity to solve problems ranging from building mechanical devices to presenting their interpretation of literary classes. Competitions are held locally, then at state and, finally, world level.

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