“I'm so proud of the nine teams we have this year and incredibly grateful for the coaches who make this journey possible for TK students,” said Robin Walters, TK Odyssey of the Mind coordinator. “TK did not participate in 2021, so it was a great feeling getting "Back to Creativity" this year.” The “Back to Creativity” slogan was used on the TKOM t-shirts this year designed by Shelby Robinette.
Three high school teams, two middle school teams and two elementary teams - one from Page and one from Lee - will all advance to the state finals. TK will again host the state finals March 12.
Walters said she’s especially happy to see teams able to compete again this year after COVID shut down the program last year. Teams last competed in February 2020 at the regional level, but weren’t able to continue with the state or world competitions. The competition this year wasn’t without some snags.
“The coaches and teams have worked through numerous illnesses and quarantines,” said Walters.
An elementary team unexpectedly had two missing team members at Saturday’s regional competition and the five remaining team members had to quickly rewrite their script and make it work. “They placed second in their problem and Division,” said Walters.
Illnesses also played havoc with the district’s primary team which didn’t even meet as a whole group until the week of the performance.
“These are amazing examples of perseverance and problem solving,” said Walters.
That’s just what Odyssey of the Mind is all about. The program challenges teams to find unique and innovative ways to solve different problems using critical thinking and creativity. Teams showcase their ideas through timed skits performed before judges.
Three High School teams advancing are:
- Regional first place - Alexandra Segoviano, Margaret Richards, Darby Nutt and Ava Myers. The team is coached by Gina Messano Ostien.
- Regional first place - Shelby Robinett, Whitney Ruger, Marian Gielincki, Mallory Hagemann, Colton Rabley, Billy DeWent and Travis Barton. The team is coached by Reagan Gielincki and Melinda Robinett.
- Regional third place - Wakefield Sandborn, Drake Holzhausen, Libby Hess, Abigail Luepnitz, Nancy Raab, Madelyn LeBelle, and Miranda Ova-Ayala. The team is coached by Jacki Schneider.
Two Middle School teams advancing are:
- Regional first place - Lucas Eggers, Travis Grabemeyer, Keeghan Simerly, Easton DeVries, Sheamus Nutt, Jacob Newland and Carter Curtis. Team coaches are Becky Vaughn and Jessica Eggers.
- Regional first place - Jenna Robinett, Myles Chambers, Avery Hagemann, Ellie Baranek, Paige Pierpoint, Alex Evans and Mallory Rosenberg. Team coaches are Melinda Robinett and Kaylee Chambers.
Two elementary teams advancing are:
- Regional second place from Page Elementary – Matthew Spurgeon, Lexi Filipiak, Max Schneider, Landon Lambitz, Anna Dunkelberger, Madysen Uslan, Patrick Ybema. Team is coached by Ross and Marnie Lambitz and Erin Chinavare
- Regional third place from Lee Elementary – Sage Filipiak, Sawyer Pelton, Felix Preston, Luke Plummer, Carter Robison, Chase Albright, Zane Truer. Team is coached by Victoria Pelton and Danielle Plummer.
Other teams competing at the regionals included:
- Lee Elementary team of Charley Haynes, Cambrin Stanhope, Donavin Suforna, Sophia Eggers, Wyatt VonItter, Zak Holzhausen. Team is coached by Sarah Stanhope and Theresa Holzhausen. The team earned a fifth-place at regionals – just missing a trip to the state finals.
- McFall Elementary team of Emma Orcutt, Jackson Ditty and Kian Albright. The team is coached by Rose Winquest and Christel Hoskins. Primary teams are not eligible to advance to the state competition.