The Pieces Fall into Place: Chaminade’s Science Olympiad Program Looks to Build on Recent Success

By Nicholas Sathi ’20

The month of January has been extremely productive for Chaminade’s Science Olympiad program. Having recently attended two invitational tournaments, the teams are looking to build off some very positive results in preparation for the upcoming Nassau West Regional Tournament, at which the A, or varsity team, seeks to qualify for the New York State Tournament once again.

While most Chaminade students were enjoying the last few days of their lengthy Christmas vacation in early January, Chaminade’s A and B Science Olympiad teams were already hitting the books. They departed for East Greenbush, New York, a town directly outside Albany, on Friday, January 3rd. Following a productive night of studying, they produced exceptional results at the tournament the next day. 

The A Team finished in 3rd place out of 37 teams, matching the results of their finish at the same tournament last year, bringing home another trophy to proudly display in their lab in the Dolan Family Science, Technology, and Research Center. After losing a talented group of members of the Class of 2019 during the off-season, the team had major gaps to fill. The first two tournaments of the season were not as successful as expected, but faith in the team’s ability was once again restored after Columbia. 

Photo 2
Nicholas Bifone ’22 and Andrew Brites ’23 hold their 3rd place ribbons for their work in Dynamic Planet at Columbia High School.


Head Coach Bro. Benjamin Knapp, S.M. ’93, was delighted with the result. 

“The Varsity Team A performed at a high level at the Columbia Invitational Tournament in East Greenbush, NY. The team performed so well, in fact, that they equaled our previous best finish at this tournament achieved last year. This bodes well for the upcoming Nassau West Regional Tournament when the team needs to qualify for the New York State Science Olympiad Tournament. Of course, we can’t rest on our laurels; much additional study and preparation is needed to continue to excel in the upcoming tournaments,” he reflected. 

          Incredible finishes were put forth by various members of Team A. Many students won ribbons for their hard work in their events. Charles Ambach ’22 and Michael Micalizzi ’22 placed 2nd in Anatomy and Physiology; Patrick Haran ’21 and Charles Ambach ’22 placed 6th in Designer Genes; Nicholas Sathi ’20 and Brennan Spillane ’22 placed 3rd in Disease Detectives; Nicholas Bifone ’22 and Andrew Brites ’23 placed 3rd in Dynamic Planet; Luke Russo ’20 and Patrick Haran ’21 placed 6th in Forensics; Nicholas Sathi ’20 and Luke Russo ’20 placed 4th in Geologic Mapping; Kieran Ameres ’21, Charles Ambach ’22, and Michael Micalizzi ’22 placed 5th in Protein Modeling; Nicholas Sathi ’20 and Brennan Spillane ’22 placed 3rd in Water Quality; Tristen Ventura ’22 and Andrew Brites ’23, with building and training assistance from Daniel  Popovich ’20, placed 1st in Wright Stuff; Tristen Ventura ’22 and Christian Gil ’22 placed 2nd in Write It Do It. 

          A week later, the teams were back on the road, this time to Berwyn, Pennsylvania for a tournament at Conestoga High School, the Battle at Valley Forge, named after the school’s proximity to Valley Forge National Historical Park. Unfortunately, conditions were not ideal as Team A was missing some key members, and various conflicts prohibited some students from participating in their usual events. However, the team persevered and placed at 19th out of 45 teams. Charles Ambach ’22 and Tristen Ventura ’22 earned a 5th place medal in Gravity Vehicle, placing the highest on the team. Many other students placed highly, but came slightly short of earning medals. Most events that were at full strength were successful, a positive sign that the future is bright for this team.

While the B Team did not earn trophies at either of the tournaments, its members are still commended for their hard work. Composed of many less experienced members of the club, these students are very dedicated to improving. They are the club’s future, and their commitment is admirable. 

The next two weeks will be busy, to say the least, for these Flyers. On February 1st, they will participate at the Nassau West Regional Tournament at Kellenberg Memorial High School. For over a decade, Team A has consecutively qualified for the State Tournament. Typically led by upperclassmen, the Science Olympiad team has put together some powerhouse teams over the years that take care of business at this tournament. The majority of this year’s team may be underclassmen, but they are extremely talented and capable. What these younger students have been able to achieve throughout the course of this competition season is extraordinary. With focus, hard work, and complete determination, they can certainly accomplish their goals.