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Odyssey teams show off skills

Groups compete at regional tournament

TRAVERSE CITY -- Creativity and teamwork are the cornerstones of Odyssey of the Mind competitions.

Seventy-four teams demonstrated their imaginative problem-solving skills during the Northwest Michigan Region 3 tournament held Saturday at Traverse City East Middle School.

Composed of up to seven students in elementary and secondary school divisions, the teams worked together to solve a long-term problem designed to test their ability to work together toward a common goal. In addition, a spontaneous problem was presented for on-the-spot solving.

The top teams in each category and grade division will advance to the state final competition to be held April 18 at East Kentwood High School.

"Our biggest problem was the eight minute time limit, the first time we ran through we were at 11 and a half," said Beckah Wineman, a senior member of the Traverse City West High School team, noting that teamwork helped get them through the hours of practice.

"We have really grown together as a team, we totally bonded," Wineman said.

Fellow teammate and nine-year veteran of Odyssey competitions, Kim Kelderhouse knows the payoff that hours of time devoted to a team effort can bring.

After writing an essay about her experience as a member of the West Senior High team that competed in the world finals last year, Kelderhouse earned a $500 scholarship from the state Odyssey of the Mind program.

"Our team really became like a family," Kelderhouse said.

Gigi Ward, a fifth-grade student from Immaculate Conception School in Traverse City, enjoyed the experience of competing and getting to know her classmates better.

"All of us have different personalities but when we joined together, we are amazing," Ward said.

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