Mt. Sinai High School defeated rival Churchville-Chili High School to win the 8th Annual Bay Scallop Bowl hold al Stony Brook University on February 7th, 2009. The Bay Scallop Bowl is one of 25 regional competitions that take place nationwide as part of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, an annual competition that tests high school students on their knowledge of oceanography and related disciplines.
After many rounds of competition between the 16 participating teams from across New York, Longwood High School, St. Anne’s School, and Mt. Sinai High School had each lost only a single round, and last year’s Bay Scallop Bowl winner, Churchwille-Chili High School, was undefeated.
In round 9, St. Anne’s faced Longwood for a chance to progress to the finals. Longwood squeaked past St. Anne’s and eliminated them from the competition by correctly answering a bonus question to put Longwood ahead just as time expired. In round 10, Longwood lost a tough match to Mt. Sinai.
Mt. Sinai, whose one loss of the day was to Churchville-Chili, faced that team again in round 11. If Churchville-Chili had won round 11, they would have won the competition. Instead, Mt. Sinai dominated the round, forcing a final round to decide the winner.
It was a nail-biting finish. Despite earning zero points in the final buzzer round, Churchville-Chili performed well in the team challenge questions and surged in the second buzzer round.
However, Mt. Sinai’s initial lead proved to be insurmountable. The final score was Mt. Sinai 66, Churchville-Chili 52.
“The competition was intense,” said Mt Sinai team captain Matthew Clark. “We had a lot of close matches,” Clark explained that after their loss to Churchville-Chlll, his team had a meeting and devised a secret new team strategy. “I think getting knocked into the one-loss bracket actually helped us. It forced us to keep playing instead of resting, and enabled us to build up momentum.”
Members of the 1st place Mt. Sinai High School team will each receive a cash prize of $1000 and will represent New York in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl finals in Washington D. C. this April. Each member of the 2nd place team, Churchville-Chili High School, will receive a cash prize of $750. Each member of the 3rd place team, Longwood High School, will receive $500. The team from The Stony Brook School was selected for the sportsmanship award and won several oceanography books for their team library.
At the concluding ceremony, William Wise, Bay Scallop Bowl Coordinator, thanked his co-Event Coordinators, Kim Knoll and Tara Duffy, as well as the army of volunteers that made this event possible. “I think we succeeded in our goal to make this event purposeful, but fun,” he said.