By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Two teams from the Tupelo Public School District won the National Bridge Building championship on Friday, and two other Tupelo teams placed second.
A Tupelo Middle School team of James Grant, Ricardo Ungo and Alex Hart won the middle school division, while a team of Jenny Bobo, Rachel Bobo and Katerina Kushla placed second.
Tupelo High School’s Nick Kaltchenko, Xen Gaerlen and Penelope Dao won the ninth- and 10th-grade division, and the team of Maddie Arancibia, Kimya Jamasbi and Christopher Wright was second.
The teams qualified for the competition by submitting a detailed report about their bridge. At the event, they also had to make a presentation and test how much weight their structure could hold.
The top three teams in the nation qualified for the nation competition in each of the three divisions, including the 11th- and 12th-grade division.
Tupelo had four of the nation’s best six teams. It did not have a team apply in the oldest division.
Forty-four teams around the nation submitted portfolios and nine were chosen to participate in the national championship, three in each division.