14-15 Year Archive

14-15 Year Archive

Round 10

It is time for the final three.  Reigning Health Idol, Tristan Arnold is in the lead with two very determined seniors hungry for the win right below him.  Starting in second is first time contestant Anthony Ismail and in third is returning contestant Quinn Barringer who has found himself in the final three for the first time despite good finishes each year.


The first challenge is to improve on a past challenge.  In this round, Ismail is at a disadvantage.  He has slowly moved up the ranks with just above average performances in everything while the other two have had great successes and failures along the way.  Both Arnold and Barringer decided to repeat the Set challenge, which is a Mensa award winning puzzle game.  This decision could already guarantee Arnold a big win since he had previously completed this challenge at the bottom of the pack and has the greatest room for improvement.  Ismail was advised to try the reaction time challenge which was one of his only below average challenge.  Ismail did manage to improve by about 0.88 on the bell curve.  As for Set, Arnold did complete 8 more sets than his previous attempt, going from 2 to 10.  Barringer nearly tied the record by completing 16, an 11 set increase from his previous 5.  Arnold’s bell score improved by 1.81 and Barringer improved by 2.21.  This puts Barringer ahead of Ismail going into the final challenge.


For the final challenge, the contestants had to play a round of Tuba Ruba.  Having started at third, Barringer called the shots.  Barringer would tie the tubes around Arnold first.  Arnold went back to the start a couple of times, but managed to complete the challenge in 2 minutes and 42 seconds (slower than his previous time).  Next Arnold tied Ismail.  Ismail tried to use the mirror as a new tactic, but it did not help him as he also returned to the start multiple times.  He finished the puzzle in 6 minutes and 54 seconds.  The boys realized there was only one shot to stop Arnold.  Ismail had to do the easiest tie job puzzle to help Barringer win the competition.  Sure enough, Barringer was the first to finish in under a minute with 51 seconds.


Barringer finished 1st in both challenges with Arnold in 2nd for both challenges.  It is a given with this information that Ismail did finish in 3rd place.  The remaining question is whether Barringer made enough points to take him from 3rd to 1st.  This all depends on where Arnold’s scores fell within the curve that the three of them created.  If Arnold’s scores were closer to Ismail’s, then his score would go down.  However, if they were closer to Barringer’s, then his score would still be going up but at a slower rate.


If you have already done the math, then you have figured out who the winner is.  Despite a slow start, Tristan Arnold has successfully defended his title and is the third winner to do so!  In 12 years, we have had 6 student wins and 6 faculty wins!  The faculty has finally caught up, but the rumor is that next year there will be no faculty in Health Idol?  Stay tuned in 2016 for Health Idol the 13th!

Round 9

Three of the students represent the bottom 3 in this round.  This includes both female contestants, sophomore Una Chan and senior Shannon Do, who is a 4 time contestant.  Along with the two of them is senior Anthony Ismail who is a first time contestant and is starting between the two of them.  Reigning Health Idol, Tristan Arnold jumped into first out of nowhere becoming a sudden threat.

The first challenge was the mile run and the fastest time this year went to senior Anthony Ismail with 5 minutes and 33 seconds, a much needed score to survive the game.  Student teacher Oliver Yeh came in second place with 6 minutes and 5 seconds and teacher Tristan Arnold in third with 6 minutes and 24 seconds.  This may very well secure the two staff members in the final three.  The students will have to deliver in the interviews in order to stay in the game.

This year, Peer Resource teacher Morgan Wallace ended up in 7th place and earns him the opportunity to interview the final 6.  This year, he asked them if they were in charge of Lincoln High and was forced to cut either English, History, Math, or Science from the curriculum, what would they cut out and why.  It was nearly an even split between English (3.5) and Math (2.5) with the justification being that these subjects could be integrated into either History and/or Science.  Anthony Ismail also won this challenge after carefully discussing the current offerings by department as opposed to only looking at the course in general.  In second place was music teacher Tristan Arnold who gave specific examples on how to integrated his chosen subject into other courses.  Battling for third were students Quinn Barringer and Una Chan who discussed taking advantage of tutoring programs or afterschool classes.  Barringer won this battle by talking about establishing these resources onsite versus finding and attending programs at other locations.

Starting in the 1st place spot and finishing in 2nd for both challenges allowed Arnold to retain his spot in the final three.  His opponents will have to find a way to keep him from a 2 year win.  The two first place wins for Ismail does propel him from 5th place into 2nd place, so he will be continuing in the competition as well.  It is a surprise to see them both in the final three since they both lingered on the bottom end of the top 10 for almost the whole competition. 

Since both of our female contestants did not place this round, they have both been eliminated in 5th and 6th place.  So who takes the final spot?  Barringer started in 2nd and had one 3rd place finish while Yeh started in 3rd and had one 2nd place finish.  Their other challenge ranking definitely determined the final standings with Barringer making the final three and eliminating Yeh from the competition.

In this next round, the contestant will have to improve on one of their past challenges.  Arnold definitely had his set of bad challenges which include Set, Sit & Reach, and the Agility Run.  Barringer also did somewhat poorly in a few challenges which include the Nutrition Quiz, Set, and the Mile Run.  Unfortunately, Ismail generally did well and rose steadily in the competition.  His weakest challenges included Reaction Time, the Nutrition Quiz, and Word Scramble.  Next week they must improve to win and face the silly Tuba Ruba!  Stay tuned and find out who will be crowned the next Health Idol!  

Round 8

Reigning Health Idol, music teacher Tristan Arnold is starting out in the bottom 3 this round.  Along with him are Peer Resource teacher Morgan Wallace who finished in 2nd last year and new contestant history teacher Chris Cary who has spent a lot of the competition in the top 4.  Fortunately for them, the scores are fairly close this round and anything can happen.

The first challenge was a reaction time test online.  The contestant had to click on a box when a stop light turns green.  The top score this year went to student teacher Oliver Yeh at 0.1968 of a second. Coming in second was senior Shannon Do at 0.2122, and in third was Chris Cary at 0.2145.  None of these three are starting the round in the top 4 so this is good news for them.  In fact, this challenge alone does bump Yeh and Do into the top 4, but their performance in the second challenge will determine their overall fate.  As for Cary, it does raise him out of 9th place, but not out of danger.

The Zorb is a giant hamster ball that the contestants have to enter and navigate on a track then reverse directions.  The contestants in danger are all serious competitors so we expected a true battle to stay in the game.  Last year, the top 3 times for the Zorb were Morgan Wallace (17:35), Tristan Arnold (18:45), and Shannon Do (19:57).  Those three made the top times once again with Tristan Arnold (17:36), Morgan Wallace (18:82), and Shannon Do (18:94).  Once again, none of them are in the top 3 so this should be good news, but if everyone in the bottom moves up, that may mean that nobody will drop below them.

Last year, Arnold was at the bottom of the pack in round 8, but a series of huge success kept him in the game until he finally won it.  His Zorb success combined with a good reaction time score has propelled him into the first place spot this round!  This is his first move into the top spot this year and is exactly what he needs to defend the title!  Senior Quinn Barringer retains his spot in 2nd place while student teacher Oliver Yeh makes his move back into 3rd.  Shannon Do’s successes shift her into the 4th place spot while fellow senior Anthony Ismail slips into 5th place.

No matter what happens, we are losing three determined competitors and the first one to go is history teacher Chris Cary whose performance for most of the competition has made him the faculty member everyone was most worried about.  “What did Cary get?” was the most popular phrase of the year.  A slower Zorb time kept him from moving into safety.  The next to go is physics teacher Alan Calac.  Starting in 4th and an ok Zorb time was not enough to make up for his reaction time score.

Last year, sophomore Una Chan had the slowest Zorb time at over 27 seconds and found herself eliminated.  This year she trimmed her time down by 4 seconds, but still had the slowest time.  She also had the slowest reaction time so only her 1st place start.  For the second time this year, there was only a 0.02 point difference for elimination.  This time it is between Chan and Wallace, and the person staying in the game is Una Chan.  All the remaining students survived this round, now can they take out the remaining staff from 1st and 3rd? 

Round 7

Starting the round in the bottom 3 are the last junior Connie Chou, Five Alive member Miles Gong, and the last freshman Christian Chun.  For any of them to survive, they will need someone right above them in rank to slip up.  This includes senior Shannon Do and teachers Oliver Yeh and Morgan Wallace.  The bad news is that Do has been a top Set player in the competition, but the lung capacity test can be the great equalizer.

For the lung capacity test, the contestants had to blow through a peak flow 3 times and the average was taken.  Teachers took this challenge.  The top score went to physics and engineering teacher Alan Calac who got a 763 out of 800.  In second was band and chorus teacher Tristan Arnold with 726, an student teacher Oliver Yeh came in third with 700.  Yeh’s score guarantees that at least one of the bottom three will definitely not survive to the next round.

The game of Set is a Mensa award winning visual/spatial challenge.  The contestants have 5 minutes to find as many matches as possible within the cards.  The top scores went to senior Shannon Do who found 15 and sophomore Una Chan who found 14.  Tied for third are seniors Miles Gong and Anthony Ismail who each found 9.  Do’s high score only further seals the fate of another member of the bottom 3.  It remains to be seen if coming in third for this challenge is enough for Gong to stay in the game or if other people’s overall scores will get in his way.

Una Chan made a big move this round that put her in first place while senior Quinn Barringer slipped down into second.  This may be the first time in Health Idol history that a sophomore has held the first place spot this late in the game!  If Chan can maintain even an average performance in the last 3 rounds, it is possible for her to become the second female winner and first ever sophomore to win the competition!

Joining them in the top 4 are senior Anthony Ismail and teacher Alan Calac, who both did well in the past round and moved above their competition.  The biggest mover in this round, however, is senior Shannon Do who moves from 9th into 5th place.  Moving up to 6th is student teacher Oliver Yeh, who has held the top spot in the competition for a while until dropping down in the last round.  So who is out and who will be in the danger in the next round.

Unfortunately, junior Connie Chou’s score dropped this round and is eliminated from the game.  Despite senior Gong’s improvement in score, it was not even enough to get him past 11th place.  And sadly freshman Christian Chun also dropped in score, eliminating the bottom three and the last hopes for the freshmen and junior classes.

The new bottom three who must make their move in the next round or be eliminated are three teachers.  In 9th is history teacher Chris Cary who just slipped out of the top 4.  In 8th is music teacher and reigning Health Idol Tristan Arnold and 7th is peer resource teacher Morgan Wallace.  Both guys were last year’s top 2!  The good news for them is that the scores are close and anything can happen!

Round 6

The remaining freshmen, Joshua Ren and Christian Chun, are starting the round in the bottom three with senior Saher Khan.  The three of them need to pull out everything they’ve got and hope that those immediately above them mess up just enough so they can stay in the game.  However, things are not fully in their control this round.

The only challenge the contestants got to compete in was the dexterity challenge.  They were given a whiffle ball and had to shoot it in a classroom recycling bin from a few feet away.  The average for this challenge always has and continues to be a 25% accuracy rate.  This year’s challenge winner was Saher Khan with a 75% accuracy rate!  Joshua Ren was next in line with 58%.  These are exactly the kind of results they need to stay in the game.  Three teachers got a 50% accuracy rate: Tristan Arnold, Alan Calac, and Chris Cary.  Seniors Quinn Barringer and Anthony Ismail did the same.

What the contestants did not know was that the eliminated contestants had the opportunity to spread five point of social support among the remaining contestants.  The biggest recipient was freshman Christian Chun with 15 points!  With that, our bottom three did exactly what they needed to do to possibly survive.  In second place were teacher Morgan Wallace and senior Anthony Ismail with 10 points, then sophomore Una Chan with 9 in third.

Quinn Barringer, Una Chan, and Chris Cary all succeeded enough to retain their spots in the top 4 for this round, but now joining them for the first time is senior Anthony Ismail who comes in at 4th place this round.  Alan Calac holds in 5th while Tristan Arnold skips above Morgan Wallace in to 6th place.  Student teacher Oliver Yeh drops to 8th place and senior Shannon Do holds at 9th.  We do have someone new in the top 10 and it is freshman Christian Chun!  He survives into the 7th round!

So who of the remaining 5 contestants are staying in the game.  As a shocker elimination, we are first losing the one student who made the final three last year, senior Amber Sevilla.  Unfortunately for Joshua Ren, his success did not move him up enough to save him from elimination.  As for Saher Khan, she is one of the top 3 movers this round and both senior Miles Gong and junior Connie Chou dropped in score quite a bit.  Connie Chou finished in 11th place so it came down to the two seniors and their final score was only 0.02 points apart.  It all came down to 1 vote or 1 shot in either challenge, but the final elimination this round was Saher Khan.

Will Christian Chun continue to defy the odds and survive elimination yet again to make it into the final 9?  Both Gong and Chou are Youth Outreach Workers and former top 10 contestants from last year will either of them even make the list this year?  The next round will be testing lung capacity and visual/spatial skills in a Mensa award winning game called Set.

To learn more about set, go to http://www.setgame.com.  It is difficult to explain the mechanics of the game and anyone who does not prepare for this challenge may run the risk of elimination.  Good luck to all of you!

Round 5

It is a high risk round as we cross the halfway mark of the competition.  Four people will be eliminated this round, so the bottom three will have an even harder time staying in the game.  Not only will senior Joseph Flannery, junior Jonathan Wong, and assistant principal Susan Akram be tested, but freshman Christian Chun will also have to step up his game to stay safe.  This round is squats and Sudoku which will definitely weed out some of the less serious contenders.   The good news is that it is prom ticket sales and the winner of the free ticket is senior Quinn Barringer!

Historically, the Sudoku challenge has managed to eliminate the players who have not been mentally preparing for the competition.  Even more so than in past years, several contestants this year started by saying they have never done Sudoku before despite having been notified last year that it would be a challenge.  Some of them still managed to do very well while others struggled to get through the puzzle.  The record for Sudoku is unclear as it was timed differently before and all we know it was within the 2 minute mark.  This year, senior Shannon Do completed it in record time with 2 minutes and 34 seconds.  Student teacher Oliver Yeh completed it in 4 minutes 29 seconds, but made a mistake which cost him a minute penalty.  Rounding out the top 5 finishers are sophomore Una Chan (5 minutes), senior Isabelle Sevilla (5 minutes 26 seconds), and assistant principal Susan Akram (5 minutes 51 seconds).

This year we tried squats in 2 minutes.  The race aspect of the challenge brought on questionable form, but likely tested something a little different than what was initially intended.   Senior Quinn Barriner and junior Connie Chou broke the 200 mark with 212 and 203 respectively.  Teachers Tristan Arnold, Alan Calac, and Chris Cary came close with 198, 191, and 189.

Entering the second half of the competition, the top 4 does not change except that Quinn Barringer jumps up two spaces and returns to the lead in the competition above Oliver Yeh and Una Chan.  The three are very close in score with history teacher Chris Cary not too far behind.  Rounding out the top 10, teachers Alan Calac and Morgan Wallace trade spots putting Calac in 5th.  Tristan Arnold and senior Anthony Ismail retain 7th and 8th place.  Senior Shannon Do returns to the top 10 in 9th place and junior Connie Chou retains the 10th spot.

Unfortunately junior Jonathan Wong was not prepared for this round and does get eliminated.  Similarly, junior Tanya Bihag falls out of the running which will save one of the others in danger.  Assistant principal Susan Akram does not rise enough to clear the bottom 3 and is also eliminated.  Sadly, there is a fourth elimination this round and senior Joseph Flannery is the casualty of the added slot. 

Now senior Saher Khan and remaining freshmen Joshua Ren and Christian Chun are in the bottom 3 and will have to fight for their survival.  Khan and Chun have not been in the top 10 this year and are definitely the dark horses of the competition, but are the leaders just too far ahead of the pack or will there be some surprises?

Round 4

At the end of this round, we will find out which 5-Alive player between seniors Erik Lamp and Miles Gong will be added into the competition.  Also, sophomore A’Nia Diggs, junior Yuriko Castillian, and senior Joseph Flannery will be fighting to stay in the game. 

The game began with a cultural awareness test that included 16 images of people and places for people to identify.  These included San Francisco icons like Harvey Milk (which was the one that upset the ones who missed him the most),  Disney’s first black princess Tiana, the California Academy of Sciences, and a frozen Niagara Falls.  Getting 75% or higher were our two representative of the social studies department, Chris Cary (12.5) and Morgan Wallace (12), music teacher Tristan Arnold (12), and sophomore Una Chan (12).  Only a half point behind them was senior Erik Lamp (11.5) and senior Anthony Ismail scored 11 points.  The hardest places to identify by name were Chichen Itza (Cary & Wallace), Ellis Island (Cary & Chan), and Urban Putt (Wallace & senior Miles Gong).  Technically, nobody named St. Basil’s Cathedral, but many knew it was in Moscow.  The hardest person to name was actor Randall Park (teacher Oliver Yeh & senior Saher Khan).

The second challenge was the Sit & Reach.  Three of the female contestants scored over 50 in the challenge.  Senior Amber Sevilla and junior Connie Chou averaged 53 and senior Shannon Do averaged 50.5.  Getting close were sophomore Una Chan (48.5) and senior Saher Khan (46.5).  Three guys scored over 40: student teacher Oliver Yeh (45.7), senior Anthony Ismail (42.3), and physics teacher Alan Calac (41.1).  Close behind were senior Joseph Flannery (39.3) and history teacher Chris Cary (38.6).

The big movers this round were Una Chan & Connie Chou.  Chan moved into 2nd place and Chou returned to the top 10 in 10th place.  Oliver Yeh’s consistency shifted him back into 1st place, moving senior Quinn Barringer and history teacher Chris Cary down to 3rd and 4th respectively.  The other teachers shift around a bit as well with Wallace & Calac moving up to 5th and 6th, bumping Arnold down to 7th.  Anthony Ismail also shifts up to 8th.

5-Alive comes to an end this round.  Erik Lamp performed much better than Miles Gong this round, however, it was not enough to bridge their gap from Gong’s strong performance in the first three round.  With that said, Lamp is out of the running and Gong enters the competition in the 9th spot.

Diggs and Castillian were not able to raise their game and were also both eliminated this round.  Flannery did make some improvements, but was it enough to stay in the game?  Yes, it was.  Junior Pamela Amaechi slips below him and out of the competition.  Now Flannery starts off the next round in the danger zone along with junior Jonathan Wong and assistant principal Susan Akram.  To make it even harder for them, Gong’s entrance into the competition means that four contestants will be eliminated in the next round, so freshman Christian Chun is also in danger despite having a good lead on the other three.  Senior Amber Sevilla is also just above Chun in score so there is a good chance that only 4 of these five contestants will continue to the second half of the competition.

The male teachers continue their domination.  Will any of them ever be knocked out of the top 10?   

Round 3

For the 3rd round of the competition, the contestants are doing the memory test and jump rope to continue forward.  Sitting in the danger zone are assistant principal Susan Akram, the last female freshman Xitlaly Martinez, and the last male sophomore Adolfo Aguilar.  It is their last chance to raise their game and hope the contestants just above them make a slip.

For the memory challenge, the contestants looked at 36 images for a minute and tried to write down as many as they can.  The top scorers got 22 out of 36 with a 61% accuracy.  These were senior Quinn Barringer and sophomore Una Chan.  Many contestants, including Barringer, included cat.  There was a lion in the photo spread, but it was decided that it was not specific enough.  The most commonly included item that was not on the spread was “Sun” which many contestants imagined was there.  Other top scores were junior Connie Chan with 21 and physics teacher Alan Calac with 20.

The second challenge was the jump rope and history teacher Chris Cary did an astounding 761 jumps!  The only person to come close is one of the 5-Alive contestants who is still fighting for a spot and that is senior Miles Gong with 509 jumps.  The other contestants who broke the 300 mark were assistant principal Susan Akram (399), music teacher Tristan Arnold (342), senior Anthony Ismail (331), and student teacher Oliver Yeh (300).

Barringer’s performance has put him in the top spot, unseating Yeh who is now in 2nd.  Also rising in the charts, Chris Cary moves up into the 3rd spot while Una Chan maintains at 4th.  Also moving up are teachers Tristan Arnold (5th) and Morgan Wallace (6th).  The rest of the chart alternates with Alan Calac dropping to 7th, senior Shannon Do rising to 8th, freshman Joshua Ren slipping to 9th, and senior Anthony Ismail rising back into 10th.

The excellent jump rope score propels assistant principal Akram out of elimination and even out of the danger zone for the next round.  Unfortunately, this did not happen for sophomore Aguilar and freshman Martinez.  As for the final eliminations, things can change at the drop of a hat.  The final challenge to be completed was junior Jonas Xie from the 5-Alive group finishing the memory test and it seems it was performed with the intention to drop out of the competition.  In that he was successful and spared senior Erik Lamp the elimination, however, that one result also impacted other players’ scores.  One small outcome was bumping Cary into 3rd from a potential 4th place finish.  A more significant outcome bumped sophomore A’Nia Diggs out of elimination and eliminated junior Kyle Selor in her place!

Now round 4 is upon us and joining Diggs in the danger zone are senior Joey Flannery and junior Yuriko Castillian.  We will also find out which 5-Alive member will join the competition between seniors Erik Lamp and Miles Gong!  The next challenges are flexibility and a cultural awareness test and this may be the best opportunity to turn the tides on the guys who are dominating the top 10 chart.  Who will fight to stay in the game and who will be the next to go?  

Round 2

Sophomore Johnny Dimas decided to quit Health Idol and opened an additional spot for the 5-Alive (5A) members.  As a result, the current 5A leader, senior Quinn Barringer, is now being entered officially into the competition and none of the remaining 5A members will be eliminated in this round.

The first challenge was the agility run where contestants had to run 35 yards doing one 90 degree turn and one 180 turn before crossing the finish line.  The fastest times amongst the guys were Barringer with 6.53 seconds and tied after him were student teacher Oliver Yeh and freshman Yusuf Sinada (6.78).  An honorable mention must go out to freshman Christian Chun who finished in 6.8 which could be what both he and Sinada need to survive starting off in the bottom three for this round.  Amongst the women, the top two were sophomores Pamela Amaechi (7.16) and Una Chan (7.36) which after gender considerations were both better scores than the guys.

The contestants also completed the nutrition quiz and as usual Peer Resource teacher Morgan Wallace ranked the highest with only one mistake.  This year, senior Saher Khan tied him for first in this challenge.  Faculty members Susan Akram and Tristan Arnold both missed two questions, as well as junior Jonathan Wong.  The most commonly missed question among them asked which of the listed items was not a carbohydrate: Lactose, Fiber, Adipose, or Glucose.  The answer was adipose (fat cells).  Some of our fastest runners also had some of the lowest scores in the nutrition quiz, but it was a tough quiz and few wrong guesses will take its toll on the results.

After missing only 3 questions on the nutrition quiz, the biggest movers this round were sophomores Amaechi and Chan.  Pamela Amaechi is the fourth of her siblings to enter the competition, so it is exciting to watch her continue the legacy.  The other big movers are faculty members Yeh and Wallace, followed by freshman Joshua Ren.  Senior Quinn Barringer started the round in 1st place, but the big move by Oliver Yeh drops Barringer to second place for this round.  Rounding out the top 5 are physics teacher Alan Calac slowly slipping into 3rd, sophomores Una Chan (4th) & Pamela Amaechi (5th).  Bumping last round’s front runner into 6th place.

Two other contestants made a move into the top 10 this round.  They are Peer Resource teacher Morgan Wallace and freshman Joshua Ren in the 7th and 8th spots respectively.  Tied in 9th are music teacher Tristan Arnold and junior Tanya Bihag.  We still haven’t had an underclassman win Health Idol so it is exciting to have 3 of them making the move up the charts.  The problem is that 5 faculty members are now in the top 10 and the students are going to have to push themselves to do what they can to kick these guys out of the game.

Unfortunately, two of the three freshmen who started in the bottom this round were not able to turn the tides to save themselves.  Etana Volpe and Yusuf Sinada both stayed put despite Sinada’s fast run this round.  Slipping into the bottom three and into elimination is sophomore Roy Lee. 

The next round’s bottom three is a diverse group including sophomore Adolfo Aguilar, freshman Xitlaly Martinez, and assistant principal Susan Akram.  The three of them will have their work cut out for them as they try to stay in the game.  They will be facing the jump rope and a memory test in the next round.

Round 1

It is year 12 of the competition and as always there are new twists and turns.  In Five Alive, we are bringing back last year’s top 5 contestants (teachers Tristan Arnold & Morgan Wallace, seniors Amber Sevilla & Shannon Do, and junior Connie Chou) while 5 other contestants from last year (seniors Miles Gong, Quinn Barringer, Erik Lamp, junior Jonas Xie, and sophomore Tammy Li) will compete separately until one of them earns a single spot to officially join the competition in round 5.

The first challenge was a word scramble where contestants were given the word PENTAGONS and they had to use those letters to come up with as many words as possible with 3 or more letters.  Contestants get a point for every letter used.  Student teacher Oliver Yeh came close to breaking the 268 point record with 260, using unique words like “nota” and surprisingly “post”.  Senior Shannon Do was not far behind with 257 points.  Coming in third is science teacher Alan Calac whose word list was one of the few with real words which is impressive at that high point range.  It is also worth noting that Do only had one word that was not counted.  Also passing the 200 point mark were two of the 5 Alive contestants who are not officially in the game yet.  Jonas Xie unofficially finished in 3rd for this challenge and Miles Gong finished in 5th (who was the only one in the top 5 to use the word “pentagon”).

The second challenge was the stork balance test.  Contestants placed their hands on their waist and one foot against their other leg then lifted up on to the ball of their standing foot.  This year, the contestants raised the average to about 52 seconds.  Four of the contestants lasted for over a minute and 40 seconds this year.  In fourth is freshman Joshua Ren with 1 minute 48.01 seconds with music teacher Tristan Arnold with 1 minute 48.85 seconds close ahead in third.  Physics teacher Alan Calac is not far off in second with 1 minute 52 seconds, but history teacher Chris Cary lasted over 3 minutes.  Two of the Five Alive contestants surpassed our top 3.  Miles Gong did 2 minutes 19 seconds and Quinn Barringer did 2 minutes 59 seconds.  It looks like the two will be fighting for their spot in the competition.

Overall, Cary’s performance in the balance challenge put him in the #1 spot in the competition with Calac in #2 after excelling in both challenges.  In fact, the top 3 are all teachers with student teacher Oliver Yeh in 3rd.  If the Five Alive contestants were in the game, 3 of them would be in the top 6 with Barringer and Gong in 1st & 4th and junior Jonas Xie in 6th.  However, with the three of them out of contention for now, the 4th spot is currently held by senior Shannon Do and the 5th spot is held by teacher Tristan Arnold.  A full ranking is available at the Wellness Center and in front of the main office.

Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to three contestants during each round and this time they are spread out between different grades.  Round 1 is a challenge for new people who do not yet know just how much they have to fight for their spots.  For now we are losing junior Adrian Torres, senior Jamie Guevara and freshman Laura Pogio.  Continuing forward, 3 freshman are starting the next round in the bottom: Christian Chun, Yusuf Sinada, and Etana Volpe.  The three of them will have to fight a little harder in the next round to stay in the game.  Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, we are also beginning to trim the Five Alive crew and the first person we are losing is our only female representative, sophomore Tammy Li.  It has been 6 years since teachers have so strongly dominated the competition, so the students will have to bring in their best in the next rounds!