Modesto High School's Crimson team took first place at the annual Stanislaus County Regional Science Olympiad on Saturday in Turlock.
More than 15 teams competed in Division C at California State University, Stanislaus, in hopes of advancing to the state finals April 13 at Mission Oak High School in Tulare.
The Crimson team placed first for the third time in six-years. This is its second consecutive win.
Thirty students on the Crimson and Black teams devoted many hours to studying and preparing for events, even on the day before the competition.
"I was a little surprised," said sophomore Shilin Patel. "The teams get better and better each year. There's a lot of competition."
Said Courtney Bui: "Competition this year was somewhat more stressful. As president, I felt the need to win not only my events, but to see my teammates place and hopefully have Modesto High win the whole competition again. However, my stress was unnecessary, as our team members proved committed through our win. I hope that we can continue the wins at state next month."
The teams included students from all four grades. Freshman Lani Nariyoshi, who competed in Division C for the first time, said, "I was nervous and filled with a bit of pressure because I was now part of a truly amazing team that performs very well every year. I look forward to three more years of competition!"
Junior Samuel Lee was relieved the team lived up to expectations.
"Last year, the team was composed of very strong and experienced seniors who spearheaded the victory. As a team, we had to step up and fill the leadership role left by last year's senior," Lee said. "We worked especially hard in hopes of bringing back our victory. Both our teams are made up of intelligent, motivated individuals that aspire to do well in whatever they attempt."
Coach Betty Marinovich said she is proud of the Black and Crimson teams and looks forward to the state competition.
Toshali Katyal is a Sophomore at Modesto High School and a member of the winning Science Olympiad team and The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom Program.