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Russell places in state academic meet

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Mar. 24—RUSSELL — Russell High School’s academic team won third place in the state Governor’s Cup competition, which was held virtually for the first time ever.

Winning teams and scores were announced Monday, a week after the competition, because of additional time needed to compile scores in the online competition.

Russell finished closely behind state champion Paul Laurence Dunbar (53.25 points) and runner-up DuPont Manual High School (51.25 points). Both schools are magnet schools.

Russell compiled 49 team points based on performances in several team and individual events. Its quick recall team took third in that event and the Russell Future Problem Solving team won first for its personalized medicine theme.

Ayog Prasad took first place in science, Jackson Raich was fourth in social studies, and Jacob Nance was fifth in science.

The quick recall team included Prasad, Raich, Nance and Arnav Dharmagadda.

The Future Problem Solving team included Sara Abul-Khoudoud, Audrey Abbott, Vinessa Fressola and Arnav Dharmagadda.

“It was a challenge this year for everyone. Everything’s new,” coach Kirk Barnett said. “Governor’s Cup is usually two and a half days but this turned into four days and then waiting a week for awards.”

The Russell team made the best of it by embracing the virtual format, according to Barnett.

“Luckily the kids bought into it early. That put us ahead of the game. We were practicing virtually from the summer, where a lot of teams resisted the change,” he said.

A small but strong contingent of seniors along with up-and-coming juniors made the team competitive, he said.

Other area students with notable performances included the following:

—Grace Conley, Boyd County High School, 10th place in language arts.

—Maggie Kinnel, Boyd County High School, seventh place in arts and humanities and seventh in composition.

—Joslin Wireman, Paul Blazer High School, 10th place in arts and humanities.

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