Cordova teams place in numerous categories during Tsunami Bowl

Yeti Crabs and Voldetort bring skills to Seward

From left, MiKita DeCook, Marie Jamille Esguerra, Cori Pegau and Reid Williams, of the team ‘Yeti Crabs’, take the stage in front of 200 people before the final and championship round of the buzzer competition during the Alaska Tsunami National Ocean Sciences Bowl. Photo by Lauren Bien/for The Cordova Times
From left, MiKita DeCook, Marie Jamille Esguerra, Cori Pegau and Reid Williams, of the team ‘Yeti Crabs’, take the stage in front of 200 people before the final and championship round of the buzzer competition during the Alaska Tsunami National Ocean Sciences Bowl. Photo by Lauren Bien/for The Cordova Times

Cordova’s Yeti Crabs beat 21 other high school teams from throughout Alaska to win the Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl, and the right to compete in the 21st National Ocean Science Bowl in Boulder, CO. April 19-22.

Seniors Cori Pegau and Marie Jamille Esguerra, junior Reid Williams and sophomore MiKita DeCook beat South Anchorage High School, a school nearly 13 times the size of Cordova High School, in the final round with a score of 66-54, making this Cordova’s first Tsunami Bowl win.

The annual competition is held in Seward and took place this year from Feb. 9-11.

On top of the Tsunami Bowl win, the Yeti Crabs also won best paper and best overall project for their work on “The Impact of Extreme Snow Events on Alaska.”

Team Voldetort, comprised of teammates Ben Wray, Abigail Allison, Faith Collins, Maya Russin and Helen Laird, placed third for best paper and second for best overall project for their work on “Extreme rain events caused by Climate Change.”

“These students have been researching, writing and practicing for months,” said Lauren Bien, Prince William Sound Science Center’s science education coordinator and coach. “I am continuously amazed by them and honored to be their coach.”

Volunteer assistant coach John Williams also helped coach the teams.

The students have been meeting twice a week since September in preparation for the competition, even practicing in the ferry cafeteria on their way to Seward. They also presented their work during the PWSSC Tuesday Night Talks on Feb. 6.

Bien, who has been coaching the teams for three years, won most supportive coach at the Tsunami Bowl, thanks to an essay written by Voldetort’s Ben Wray.

“These students make all of my late nights and weekends not only worth it, but enjoyable and hilarious,” Bien said.