On February 27, 2016, both the Varsity and Junior Varsity sections of Lick- Wilmerding’s Ocean Science Bowl Team won third place at the recent Sea Lion bowl at Stanford.
The Varsity team also won a team spirit award and the JV team won an award for sportsmanship. These achievements were a huge improvement for the team; varsity lost every game last season, while JV lost all but one match at last year’s tournament.
The Ocean Science Bowl, or Ocean Bowl as it is most commonly known, is an Ocean Science trivia competition. Teams compete to answer questions about various aspects of the ocean, ranging from chemistry and biology to social sciences and marine policy.
Every year competitions are held throughout the country by the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) with the winners advancing to a yearly national competition whose prizes include full scholarships to study oceanography in college.
The Lick team, led by captains Alexandra Tien-Smith ‘17, David Ludeke ‘17, and Ryan Kearns ‘17, was restarted last year after the previous team graduated. Coached and advised by Lick’s Marine Ecology and freshman Biology teacher Gillian Ashenfelter, the team trains for the annual competition throughout the year.
They prepare by giving presentations about various oceanographic topics, watching documentaries, and competing in mock buzzer rounds.
The 2016 team’s success at the tournament, propelled by an impressive scoring performance from Ludeke, included an undefeated 7-0 Varsity record into the semi-finals. This was an enormous surprise for the team, especially after last year’s defeats. “I think the results of this last competition are a big step for Ocean Bowl at Lick,” stated Kearns. “Having rebuilt the team from scratch our sophomore year, being able to win 3rd place in both divisions, with Varsity undefeated in round robin, is a significant achievement. I’m very excited for the future of the team.”
Ludeke added that he feels “the team’s victory was even more impressive given our much worse performance last year.” The team hopes to rise to even further heights in the following years, with hopes to possibly qualify for the national competition.
The team, which consists entirely of juniors, is also focusing on recruiting and training new members to carry on the Lick Ocean Bowl legacy past 2017.