Linnaean Teams Win First and Second Place at Southwestern Branch Meeting

The Graduate Linnaean Team vs the Undergraduate Linnaean team during the final round. Photo by Juliana Rangel

The Graduate Linnaean Team vs the Undergraduate Linnaean team during the final round. Photo by Juliana Rangel

TYLER, Texas–The Department of Entomology’s graduates and undergraduate Linnaean Teams came out big during the annual Linnaean Games quiz bowl competition at the Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society meeting during the last week of February.

The Graduate Linnaean Team received first place after defeating the Texas A&M undergraduate team in the final round of play. Both teams also competed other teams, graduate and undergraduate, from Oklahoma State University.

The graduate team consisted of Pierre Lau, Freddy Ibanez, Adrian Fisher, and Carl Hjelmen while the undergraduate team included Shelby Kilpatrick, Andrew Graf, Dayvion Adams and Bret Nash.

According to the Entomological Society of America website, the Linnaean Games are a lively question-and-answer, quiz bowl style competition on entomological facts played between university-sponsored student teams. Each team is comprised of four members and members score points for the team by answering questions correctly.

Linnaen Games - inside page

The Undergraduate Linnaean Team, right, facing off against the Oklahoma State team. Photo by Andrew Graf.

The two teams will advance to the national ESA Linnaean Games competition, as well as participate in the International Congress of Entomology meeting’s competition that will be held in Orlando in November.

“I was very excited to be participating in this year’s games, especially because we finally got first place at the meeting,” Hjelmen said. “Oklahoma historically has been a very difficult opponent and in previous years we have only achieved second. These games were especially exciting because the TAMU undergrad team was also able to beat both Oklahoma teams in order to get to second place.”

Hjelmen said that with the graduate team taking first place and the undergraduate team taking second helped them to get both undergraduate and graduate representation when they go to Orlando later this year. He also attributed the hard work to his teammates and Rangel for her great coaching.

“Needless to say, both teams have barely been able to contain their excitement for these games. This couldn’t have been achieved without all of the countless hours spent by the teams and our coach, Juliana Rangel, in practices and studying outside of the practices and games,” he said.  “All of this studying allowed us to easily answer the tricky historical entomology questions, sometimes with my personal favorite answer “C.V. Riley.”  There were really way too many difficult questions to count and it is always surprising when people know the answers!”

Undergraduate team member Shelby Kilpatrick was looking forward to going to Orlando for the national ESA Linnaean Games, as well as the International Congress of Entomology’s Linnaean Games. The national ESA meeting will be held in conjunction with the ICE meeting in Orlando, Florida.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to participate in the National Linnaean Games at the Entomological Society of America,” she said. “It will be my first time to attend a national ESA meeting and this is a historic year since it’s being held in conjunction with the International Congress of Entomology. I am very proud of my team and looking forward to the national contest in September.”

She said the hardest questions were the ones about toxicology while the easiest were the questions that included photos or about taxonomy and insect classification.

“One of my favorite things about entomology is that there will always be something new to learn,” she said.

This was Lau’s first time to participate in the Linnaean Games this year since he was an alternate during last year’s competition. He said that being an alternate helped him to know what to expect during this year’s competition.

“I thought the games this year were much better than the last because we won first and second place,” Lau said. “It has been a while since the graduate team won first at the meeting.”

Linnaean Team coach Juliana Rangel was very proud of both teams and was impressed by the amount of hard work and dedication they had put in before and during the competition.

I am extremely proud of the performance of both teams, dedication during practice rounds and their homework really had paid off,” Rangel said.

She was extremely proud of the undergraduate team because of their dedication and the depth of entomological knowledge, and their courageousness during the hardest parts of the games.

“I am extremely proud of the undergraduate. They were courageous enough to beat the graduate team from Oklahoma State University, despite the nervousness you usually get facing other teams in a competition.”

“Overall, I’m extremely proud of both teams and I’m also proud to be their coach,” she added.

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