BYRON – The Byron ACES Team (Academic Challenge in Engineering and Science) competed in the state finals recently, placing 5th place among all Illinois schools in the 700 Division.
Team members compete in seven different categories (Biology, Chemistry, Engineering Graphics, English, Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science) by taking two different tests.
“We match up each student with the two tests that they are best suited to take,” said coach Mike McHale.
Typically the squad is reserved for juniors and seniors, but occasionally McHale asks a few sophomores to compete.
“We’ve had some success over the years … but it has been a few years since we placed in the top five … which is always one of our goals at the beginning of the year,” he said.
The team was lead throughout the year by Junior Brayden Baker (finished 2nd in Mathematics and 4th in Physics in the State Finals), senior Riley Jarret (2nd place in Biology and English at Sectionals), and sophomore Andrew Freedlund (4th place in Mathematics and Byron top chemistry score in State Finals). Other state finalist medalist included Shannon McHale and Sadie Stickler (tie for 5th in mathematics) and Joel Pauley (tie for 5th in Physics).
“The team worked and prepared diligently this year … these types of things don’t happen by accident,” McHale saidd. “Most of these kids are already looking forward to next year.”
Team members include: Alaina Haas, Lauren Carlson, Shannon McHale, Brayden Baker, Lauryn Shank, Jon Wicklein, Jack Sober, Sadie Stickler, Joel Pauley, Sydney Smith, Anika Roush, Kate Schilling, Addie Ebersohl, Luke Mathieu, Lily Swiech, Riley Jarrett, Ava Kultgen, Denise Braithwaite, Andrew Freedlund and Audrey Kilmer.