Updated: April 22, 2013 11:59AM
Does it make you as happy as it does me when you read about all the neat young people in our county?
So often the news is not the greatest to read with too many sad and bad things getting the headlines. But this past week had some mighty neat things going on.
First of all, did you even know there was a Japanese Olympiad that includes speaking and listening to the language, knowing its culture and history, and kanji (the Chinese characters used by the Japanese language)?
Competitors from Chesterton and Valparaiso High schools proved themselves worthy of the academic competition, which was for second-, third- and fourth-year divisions.
Chesterton’s third-year team (Garrett Lee, Matt Lutze, Chris Maatouk) boasted the state championship, with their Valpo neighbors (Sariah Germain, Jeremy Reeves, Autumn Vanekamp) earning second place.
Not to be outdone, Chesterton’s second-year team (Elena Levi, Sydney Scrum, Michele Stramel) defeated Michigan City to claim the championship, and their fourth-year team (Molly Cannon, Addison Dempsay, Matrika Laster) garnered runner-up honors.
The 44 teams that competed also enjoyed participating in Japanese cultural activities and games.
Then there was the amazing Thomas Jefferson Middle School Science Olympiad Team, whose hours of study and practice once more earned its way to the national competition by winning the state championship for the 21st time.
Just watching some of the pro-jects these young students have to perform has my head spinning. Good luck at nationals, science whizzes — we’ll all be cheering for you.
Needless to say, every spectator and member of both the Portage and Valpo gymnastic teams had to have their hearts pounding in their ears as they watched these two outstanding teams go down to the wire at the state championships. Portage won by 0.5 points, and no one could have been more thrilled than Coach Karen Barcelli as she watched her daughter, Mackenzie, solidify the win as the last competitor on bars who also was the all-around champ.
It was their first state championship in 38 years, and even Valpo gymnasts had to feel (grudgingly) happy for them, and second place isn’t all that bad either! Congratulations to the outstanding students who put so much extra time into their passion, whether it’s Japanese, science or gymnastics, to be the best. I pray the future stays a winner for you always.
Now I hope you all have a great day because you deserve it. Thanks for reading. Fly your flag.