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ITHACA, N.Y. – Clinton Middle School’s Science Olympiad team, S.C. state champions 17 years in a row when one includes its Bell Street predecessor, finished 28th in a field of 60 at the 35th National Science Olympiad at Cornell University on May 31-June 1.

The Clinton team went up against larger and more affluent public, private, magnet, charter and parochial schools, as well as a few home schooling associations.

Below are noteworthy CMS finishes:

– Fossils, 11th place (Shane Nelson, Rachel Vondergeest).

– Glaciology, 14th (Joey Ardelt, Shane Nelson).

– Science Quiz Bowl, 21st (Ardelt, Grin Darden, Gracie Wiggins).

– Topographic Map Reading, 22nd (Grayson Fleury, Lindsey Pysell).

– Solar System, 22nd (Darden, Nelson).

– Water Quality, 23rd (Jack Brent, Nelson).

– Circuit Lab, 27th (Ardelt, Brent).

– Anatomy and Physiology, 29th (Anna Kiley, Vondergeest).

– Thermodynamics, 29th (Ardelt, Brent).

Out of CMS’s 17 state championships, this team finished with the third best nationals finish. This year marked the first national tournament at an Ivy League school.

The team took a side trip to Niagara Falls and took a glass-blowing class from a West Virginia artisan.

Team members were Ardelt, Kaelyn Bell, Janey Boyce, Brent, Grin Darden, Jules Darden, Fleury, Keegan Fortman, Kiley, Mari Lane, Jordan Marthers, Nelson, Junia Nolan, Pysell, Wes Ray, Bailey Suarez, Vondergeest and Wiggins.

Terri O’Shields has headed the team for more than a decade. She was assisted by her husband and District 56 superintendent, Dr. David O’Shields, as well as David Bell, Jimmy Jacobs, Grace Johnson, Keith Johnson, Jimbo Langston, Michael Mack, Patrick Nelson, Diane Rischbieter, Scott Shiflet, Dr. Jason Smith, Dianne Summer, Ami Vaughn, Megan Walsh, Dr. Stan Walsh and Brandon Wolfe.

District 56 plans to extend the Science Olympiad program to Clinton Elementary School next year.