Viera academic teams place 3rd and 4th at Manatee Bowl


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Members of the Viera High A and B teams pose at the Manatee Bowl, where the B team finished third and the A team placed fourth.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy Morgan Woodard

Viera High teams took third and fourth place this past weekend at an academic competition held at the National Ocean Sciences Center in Fort Pierce.

The B team, made up of captain Griffin Pharmer, Alex Krestan, Valerie Falcone, Ansley Leonhardt and Tim Lancaster finished third in the Manatee Bowl for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, which is similar to the Brain Bowl or Science Bowl.

The A team, which included captain Emilio Worden, Kendall Jensen, Eric Beck, Evelyn Mitchell and Justin Scholl, finished fourth.

Viera was one of three Brevard County schools to take part in the competition (Melbourne and Heritage sent one team each). The competition is played in a “Jeopardy” style format and Viera students prepared by meeting two times a week to study together with their coach, Morgan Woodard, a Marine Science 1 and 2 teacher at the school.

There were 20 teams – ranging from Jacksonville to Key West – on hand for the event. The field was chopped to eight teams after the first five rounds and then, eventually, the semifinals.

Viera’s B team defeated the A team on the way to its high finish.

“This was our 6th year competing at the Manatee Bowl,” Woodard wrote in an email. “We have never won, but have finished 2nd before. Even though we didn’t finish as high as we have previously, I think that we had our best year yet because both teams were so strong and both advanced to the finals.

“Our B team has never advances past preliminaries & this time they beat our A team and placed third where our A team placed 4th.”