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TrekNorth team advances to national tourney

TrekNorth Envirothon team members (left to right) Lily Fulton, Ashley Blevins, Annikka Roy, Isaiah Chalmers, Hannah Marty and Kaija Roy show their medals after winning the state Enbirothon competition. Team members Hannah Lash and Brenda Cecena are not pictured. Submitted Photo

BEMIDJI- After reaching the state competition three years in a row, the TrekNorth Envirothon team has gotten over the hump to make it to the National Envirothon competition in Pennsylvania.

"Oh my gosh, we were in shock when they announced that we had won," TrekNorth Envirothon Coach Jennifer Roy said. "It was really a surprise but we are very excited to go and represent our state."

The team was one of 27 schools to compete in the state competition, which TrekNorth won while competing with two alternates that joined the team weeks before the competition.

Each team consists of five members. Each team member focuses on a topic covered in the competition, which include aquatics, forestry, soils and water life. Students are given a 25-point exam on each topic and then give a presentation on a current environmental topic.

This year's topic focused on building a new sports stadium on a Superfund site, a site that has been placed on the National Priorities list because it is polluted and needs cleanup.

Students prepare a presentation in advance to cover how they would deal with the problem, addressing key issues like low impact development and nonpoint source pollution, which is pollution that enters the water from sources like runoff and precipitation.

At the National Competition, which takes place the week of July 22, the situation changes but the topic is still focused on low impact development and nonpoint source pollution.

Fifty-four teams compete at the national tournament, including teams from 45 states and the Canadian Provinces.

Roy said the team may be young but they have committed their time since January and are eager to compete nationally.