Baltimore bound: Friday Harbor wins third consecutive Orca Bowl crown

Friday Harbor High School
Friday Harbor High School's 2012 Orca Bowl team, front to back; Emily Guard, Audrey Olshesky, Libby Snow, Stewart Bell, coach Nick Frazee, Gavin Guard, Michael Barsamian, Aaron Prager , coach Marc Vermeire... identity of diver, background, unknown.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Friday Harbor's 2012 marine science crew left competitors from 16 different school's in its wake to claim Friday Harbor High School's third consecutive Orca Bowl championship, Saturday, at the University of Washington.

This year's six-member squad bounced back from a loss in a preliminary round, clawed its way into the title bout and then outpaced their Garfield High School counterparts to claim the regional championship. They prevailed in 11 of 12 matches en route to capturing the school's third regional title in three years.

Washington state Congressman Jim McDermott attended Saturday's regional championship and set the competition in motion.

“These scholars are the future stewards of our ocean, and I know this experience encourages them to continue to learn how the ocean works and how to wisely use our ocean resources for generations to come,” McDermott said.

With the victory, the 2012 team secured a berth in the 15th Annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl, where they will compete for against 24 other regional champions for the national title. The national championship, a three-day event, begins April 19 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The format of the annual Orca Bowl competition features a mix of buzzer-style multiple choice questions and open-ended challenge questions fielded by all members of the team. The members of Friday Harbor's 2012 team are: seniors Audrey Olshefsky and Stewart Bell, juniors Michael Barsmian, Gavin Guard and Aaron Prager, and sophomores Emily Guard and Libby Snow. Olshefsky and Guard also were part of the 2011 regional title team.

Faculty advisors of Friday Harbor's Orca Bowl team are Nick Frazee and Marc Vermeire.

— Scott Rasmussen


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