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Three Odyssey teams advance to state

From Staff Reports

SAVANNAH -- The campus of Columbus State University will be the site of the 2008 State Finals For Odyssey of the Mind. All teams in Sumter County Schools have not yet competed for state advancement. However, three teams from Sumter County Schools, will be in Columbus the weekend of April 19.

Sarah Cobb Elementary School, a team at World Finals in 2007, was the first team in Sumter County to receive recognition for its efforts. The team from Sumter County tied for third place in the Open Banner Parade. Second, they received the "Omer's" Award. This special award is given to coaches, team members, parents or others who serve as Odyssey of the Mind examples or role models by their actions or words. They demonstrate the true spirit of Odyssey of the Mind. They received this recognition for their problem solution and script concerning the vast recovery after the March 1, 2007, tornado.

Teams from Sumter County were loaded and scheduled to depart for Savannah, on March 1, 2007, one year earlier. The teams did not travel to Savannah because some members of the team were unable to meet other creative members due the devastation of the previous night.

Sarah Cobb School also won second place in Division 1 for its problem solution of "The Wonderful Muses."

Elayne Whitten began the Odyssey of the Mind Program in Sumter County in 1999. Since those early days, a team or teams from Sumter County have attended World Finals for six consecutive years. After hearing announcement of the many awards of her team of 4th graders, Whitten said, "This is a group of talented students. I am indeed pleased with the 'Omer' Award. This team did a great job in scripting the recovery from the March 1, 2007, tornado. The judges recognized their talent. This team is on the way to Columbus and state."

The "blue" team from Sumter County Middle School placed second in its Division II problem solution of "Road Rally," and another team, the "white" team from Sumter Middle received first place in Division II in its long-term problem solution of "DinoStories." Although the "gold" team from Sumter County Middle School did not win a trip to state, the team scored fifth place in its division.

Coaches for these Sumter County Middle School teams are Gera Nelson and Angie Brunson.

Two teams from Sumter County Elementary School will compete for regional competition on March 15 in Flowery Branch.

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