I'll ask you first to go revisit this post about Regionals. (It explains a lot about how things work.)
Got it? Okay, good. So. Saturday was the State Tournament in Golden on the campus of Colorado School of Mines. We left the house about 5:45 in the morning and drove down, found a place to park and then found our team. We managed to snag an open classroom in one of the buildings to use as a home base (all of the teams had been given a list ahead of time of available places, but it was first come, first served and many teams ended up in hallways or lobbies instead of classrooms). We very much appreciated the quiet of our spot!
The competition day got off to a slightly rocky start with missing kids and miscommunications from the event coordinators and difficulty in finding event rooms. But. Between all of our parents, we were able to sort it all out and get our nine to their respective events. (Fortunately, too, Noah came with us--to get a look around the School of Mines campus--and was needed at times to hold down our home base while the rest of us ran kids to events.)
The day proceeded with lots of running kids between buildings and making sure everyone had the supplies they were supposed to have for each event. And we made it to all 23 events and the kids competed their hearts out. In between all that, we even managed to feed most of them, lol.
After events were over, we reconvened in our classroom to await the results. Kids played some Hangman...
...and ran back and forth to the gym (a couple blocks away) to check as they started posting some of the results. (Asher thought this was great fun. The other kids were a bit more winded, lol. Did I mention that the School of Mines campus is a bit hilly?)
After all that, the teams finally met up in the gym for the awards. There were 36 teams that qualified for the State Tournament in our middle school division. There were also 27 high school teams competing. (Events were all run throughout the day but divisions were in different rooms. So, we're talking about probably about 800 students altogether, given that most teams had 15 students.) It was a lot of people...
(Our kids are the ones on the floor in the blue shirts.)
They started with individual medals for each of the events. Middle schoolers have 23 events. Each of our nine kids earned at least one medal! Three of them earned three each! Seriously. This is so impressive. We medaled in eight of the events. Only the first place team medaled in more events than that. And...in our events, our kids improved or maintained their placing (from how they placed at Regionals) in 12 of the events! Considering the tougher competition level, I think that's pretty darn awesome.
And after all that, they announced the top six teams in each division. And we came in FIFTH!
(Yes. It was rather tricky to get all nine kids to look the same direction when multiple parents had cameras out, lol.)
Woohoo! So very proud of these kids...the time, the practice, and the effort...that they each put in. Plus, they just genuinely enjoyed and supported each other, and it was lovely to watch.
And then we all headed home. We stopped for dinner in Denver and finally made it home 15 hours from when we left that morning. Whew. :)
Asher and Micah were pretty darn happy with how the season wrapped up. Each of them improved their placing in ALL of their events, and each of them earned a first, a second and a third. The first and third place finishes were shared...they took third in Dynamic Planet (up from 8th at Regionals) and first in Optics (up from 21st at Regionals). (Remember that each event generally had two students from each team competing. For these events, Asher and Micah were the two from our team.) Micah then also earned second in Food Science (his favorite event), and Asher earned second in Wright Stuff (after hours of work with Nathan and his teammate to tweak their plane after Regionals). (In case you're wondering, then, yes, all of these medals were in events that they did not medal in at Regionals...events that they actually did work to improve after Regionals.)
It was good. Whew. :)