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Teams compete at the New York State Odyssey of the Mind

By Debbie Swartz
VESTAL -- Painted faces, colorful costumes and scads of props accompanied hundreds of students Saturday at the New York State Odyssey of the Mind state finals at Binghamton University.

Teams competed in several competitions highlighting flight, nutrition, archaeology and engineering, all of which included skits created by team members.

"They've been working as a team for three years now," said Whitney Point High School team coach Amy Spinella.

Students Abby Harrington, Paige Warfield, Stacey Davis, Sarah Marye and Kathleen Kratz designed a skit that had a bit of "Survivor" mixed with "Battle of the Bands" to emphasize good nutrition in the Food Court competition.

The young women received a lot of laughs, which is what they were going for, Davis said.

"We want them to remember us," she said.

"We're very punny too," Warfield added.

The day-long competition featured elementary, middle and high school teams from across the state. Several area teams competed, including those from the Sherburne Earlville, Maine-Endwell, Whitney Point, Windsor, Greene, Chenango Forks, Our Lady of Sorrows-Seton, Binghamton, Sidney and Vestal school districts.

For the seven-member Maine-Endwell Middle School team, Return to the Gift of Flight was its competition. Along with Dr. Banana, Robin Hood and a couple of Oompa Loompas, the students' skit featured a humorous attempt to stop global warming by using a slingshot, paper airplane, crossbow and catapult.

"Everyone contributed different ideas and we put them together," said team member Dan Boothroyd.

While the competition and spending time with teammates -- including Steven Bohn, Griffin Goosman, Hermanoschy Bernard, Thomas Comstock and Jacob Freeman -- is an added bonus, getting to the world competition in Michigan later this year is the ultimate goal, said teammate Nicholas Pham.

"We'd be the first M-E team to get there," he said.

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