Envirothon takes first in Regionals

Kris Long, Print Editor-in-Chief

Manhattan High Envirothon teams placed at the Regional competition in Council Grove last Wednesday, with the upperclassman Team A taking first and the freshman Team B placing fourth. 

The upperclassmen team were Regional and State champions and placed 24th at Nationals when the competition was virtual.  held onto the Regional title this year despite three of their five team members being home sick, leaving only senior Chase Glasscock and sophomore Kate Anderson to compete.

“All the pressure was taken off,” Glasscock said. “The Regional didn’t mean too much in the grand scheme of things, because State is really where you want to be incredibly prepared and work your hardest in order to go to Nationals. But it was still a bit of pressure because we only had two of us. Thankfully, we were able to work together very well to get the answers, work through what we needed to work through. And it was a very enjoyable experience because we were fighting against the odds.”

The students competed by taking a test over seven different categories: Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, Wildlife, Current Issue and Oral Presentation. Each team member usually specializes in one area, so Team A was at a disadvantage without many of their specialists. Despite this, Team A still placed first in four of seven categories as well as overall.

“They gave awards for each category and then overall, and the first one that they gave [was] ‘aquatics, first place, goes to some school’ and we thought ‘oh yeah, makes sense,’” Anderson said.  “And they said ‘current issue, first place, Manhattan High Team A’, and we were like, ‘wow.’ And then they went on and we won … three more, and it was very shocking.”

The freshmen team included Alexis Haeusler, Angie Chae, Kylie Kim, Lynden Auckly and Soleil Disney. Although they placed fourth, only one MHS team qualifies for State, so they will not continue competing. 

“I’m super excited for them because they got fourth,” Envirothon sponsor Noah Busch said. “That’s a pretty awesome accomplishment your first time, just because there’s so many unknowns, you’re not sure how it’s going to go. So I’m really proud of them.”

Team A, including Glasscock and Anderson as well as sophomore Allie Cloyd, junior Ameerah Alfailakawi and senior Eszter Chikan, will progress to the State competition on April 27.