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Manhattan Beach Teams Earn Top Marks at Odyssey of the Mind World Championships

Jun 08, 2023 10:10AM ● By Mb News Staff

The first-place winning Mira Costa Team B at the awards ceremony: Audrey Treger, Daisei Horiguchi, Brian Fan (coach), Sierra Wolbert, Dr. Sam (Odyssey founder), Zachary Green, Charlotte Fan, (not pictured: Matthew Chang)

Three Manhattan Beach teams competed in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals this year, bringing home top awards in the international creative problem-solving competition.

All three teams placed in their problem divisions at the world competition, which was held at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan from May 24 - 27. The annual event brought together 741 teams and nearly 6,000 students - including teams from South Korea, China, Japan, Singapore, Poland, Mexico, Brazil, France and Switzerland - and an audience of more than 10,000 people.

To earn a spot in the World Finals, the Manhattan Beach teams had competed at the regional tournament in March, and at the state tournament in Moreno Valley in April.

"The teams have been practicing together since September, and devoted countless hours to script writing, set and costume and prop creation, practicing the skits, and spontaneous problem preparation," said parent Lindsay Geida.

The official scores can be seen here.

Mira Costa Team B Wins First Place in Problem 4

Mira Costa's Team B scored a first-place win, taking home the World Champion title in Problem 4, Division 3 in their first year in the high school division. (They had previously won the Odyssey Problem 4 in the middle school division at the World Finals in 2021). Problem 4 requires teams to build a balsa wood structure that is capable of supporting increasing amounts of weight.

Team B members include Matthew Chang, Charlotte Fan, Zachary Green, Daisei Horiguchi, Audrey Treger, and Sierra Wolbert; along with Coach (and parent) Brian Fan.

Worth noting: This win makes Mira Costa High School the first and only elementary, middle, or high school in Odyssey history to have ever won three consecutive World Championships in a problem, according to Coach Brian Fan. (Mira Costa's Team A won the P4 Division 3 world championship for Mira Costa in 2021 and 2022, and Team B won the P4 Division 3 world championship in 2023.)
(Team B Props & Costumes (left to right): Daisei Horiguchi, Audrey Treger, Matthew Chang, Sierra Wolbert, Charlotte Fan, Zachary Green)

Mira Costa Team A Places 4th in Problem 4

Mira Costa's Team A, also coached by Brian Fan, tied for 4th in their problem division after setting a new world record for creating a 15-gram structure of balsa wood that could sustain 1270 pounds of weight.

The team is made up of Brian Chiu, Andrew Fan, Ashlyn Green, Luke Green, Ella Kim, and Abi Seo. This is the team's 8th and final year doing Odyssey together.

The team was previously World Champion in 2021 and 2022 and was also a World Finals Ranatra Fusca recipient in 2019 (Odyssey's highest honor for outstanding creativity).

(Team A showing off their record tower weight (left to right): Ella Kim, Ashlyn Green, Abi Seo, Luke Green, Andrew Fan, Brian Chiu.)

Pacific Elementary Places 4th in Problem 5

The Pacific Elementary team, coached by Pacific 2nd grade teacher Michelle Lautanen, placed 4th out of 64 teams in one of the most competitive problem divisions (having previously placed first in 2022 and 2021). Problem 5 is a "dramatic" problem requiring teams to create a humorous performance about a dramatic character that overreacts to common events.

The Pacific team is made up of 5th graders Lara Geida, Zayaan Mehrotra, Campbell Park, Vivienne Schneider, Noah Segil, and Gabe Segil. The group has been together since 3rd grade and it is the team's third year doing Odyssey - as well as their third time attending World Finals.

Also worth noting: The team was only one of three teams in Odyssey's 44-year history to have won back-to-back World Championships in Problem 5 and also the only team to have accomplished those back-to-back victories in Division 1 (Elementary).

(The Pacific team in their state championship gear at opening ceremonies: Zayaan Mehrotra, Noah Segil, Vivienne Schneider, Lara Geida, Gabe Segil, Campbell Park)

Odyssey of the Mind is an international competition that involves a combination of theater and problem solving with a creative twist. Through the writing of original scripts, the creation of costumes, props, scenery, and technical elements, teams of students work together to solve problems creatively. Students with talents in many areas find a unique opportunity to showcase their gifts in script writing, costume creation, music, dance, visual arts, props and scenery construction, engineering, problem solving, leadership, critical thinking, and more.

Manhattan Beach has consistently been a top performer at Odyssey of the Mind competitions. Read more from MBNews on Manhattan Beach's victories in 2022, 2021, 2018, and 2017.

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