Latin travels to Amarillo, takes sixth at State

(from left to right) Edward Brett, Nicholas Bui, Brent Bauries and Matthew Anderson with the catapult that was designed by Brent and placed second in competition

Ally Ameel

The Texas State Junior Classical League convention offers Lain students the opportunity to show off their talents and make new friends from other schools in Texas. This year at Amarillo High School, 69 Westlake Latin students competed from March 27 to 29.

Many students won individual awards in a variety of competitions, ranging from academic tests to artistic and athletic-related events. Each award contributed to Westlake placing sixth against 44 other schools.

On March 27, every contestant took the pentathlon, a standardized multiple choice test of five different categories: grammar, mythology, vocabulary, reading comprehension and Roman history.

A variety of events were held the following day, including several other multiple choice academic tests in specific subjects and athletic competitions, known as Olympica, such as volleyball, basketball and track events. Participants also had a chance prior to the convention to prepare entries for classical civilizations competitions, which included art, writing and photography and were judged at the convention. The award ceremony took place on Sunday, where certificates were given for all competitions and ribbons were awarded for first through sixth place.

Sophomore Brent Bauries placed second in the catapult-building competition. This requires each contestant to build a catapult with certain sizing guidelines. Brent, with the help of sophomores Nick Bui, Edward Brett and Matthew Anderson, built the catapult before the competition and made some adjustments once the group arrived in Amarillo.The bottom boards of Brent’s catapults broke upon arrival at the convention, but with the help of his classmates, they were able to replace the boards and fix the catapult in time. To win contestants had to launch a tennis ball the farthest distance and meet the construction specifications.

“I was a bit upset with the winning catapult because it was outside of the size limits,” Brent said. “The judges didn’t check.”
Although the convention’s main purpose is to hold competitions to test students’ abilities, it also offers the opportunity to make new friends from other schools. Sophomore Berkeley Barnett did not place in any of the contests that she competed in, but her favorite part of the convention was the friendships she formed with other Latin students.
“While we were there, we hung out with a bunch of St. Andrew’s kids,” Berkeley said. “It was cool to meet new kids from our area. Also on our way back to Austin, we got a call saying [that St. Andrew’s] bus broke down, so we had to drive back and pick them up. And since we had been hanging out with them, it was fun for them to ride back with us.”
The Latin convention offers students the chance to showcase their individual talents and create new experiences.
“It was a lot more fun than I expected,” Berkeley said. “I discovered that people get really into Latin stuff. Overall it was a pretty eye opening experience, and I’m glad I decided to do it.”