Teams from Winston Churchill Middle School in Carmichael and Mira Loma High School in Sacramento each took first place Saturday in the NorCal State Science Olympiad in Visalia.
The achievements advance both schools to the Science Olympiad National Tournament at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla., next month.
It was the eighth straight first-place win for Mira Loma in the high school division, said Science Olympiad coach Mark Porter, who joined co-coach Dean Karagianes and head coach Scott Martinez in working with the school's team of 15 students and three alternates.
"This is a very unique event because it takes a full team of 15 competing students in 23 different events," Porter said. "You have to have 15 strong people. It takes everybody to win this. And we have everybody, from the seniors to the sophomores. They're all outstanding."
In the last three years, Porter said, the students have placed within the top 10 in the final tournaments among schools nationally.
For Winston Churchill Middle School, it was the second straight win in the NorCal State competition. Last year, the school placed eighth nationally out of 60 teams, said Jeff Jungk, Science Olympiad coach who worked with co-head coach Robert Sherriff. Both are science teachers at the school, Jungk said.
Twenty students participated. All will head to Florida for the national event May 18 and 19.
Jungk said the Mira Loma and Churchill teams work closely with each other to prepare for the competition.