Academic Quadrathlon Team captures title at Southern Section Competition
By: Norman Martin
Texas Tech's Academic Quadrathlon Team got its spring season off to a good start in just its fourth year of competition, winning the Southern Section ASAS Academic Quadrathalon competition in Oklahoma City.
The competition, sponsored by the American Society of Animal Science, pits teams from colleges across the southern region of the country in four categories over a two-day period – lab practicum, written exams, oral presentations and a quiz bowl competition.
"The students did a great job at the competition. These guys are extremely competitive and were determined to do very well," said Jerrad Legako, an assistant professor in Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences and co-advisor of the AQ team. "Their success is due in part to their willingness to prepare for the competition well ahead of time and to be prepared to perform."
The team from Texas Tech consists of Kirby Nixon, a senior animal science major from Floydada, Texas; Ben Mills, a senior animal science major from Shallowater, Texas; Jake McMillin, a senior animal science major from Shallowater, Texas; and Sam Spradlin, a senior animal science major from Granbury, Texas.
The team is advised by Legako and Kelly Vierck, a graduate research assistant in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences focusing on meat science and muscle biology.
Legako said finishing well in the contest requires students who have a diverse knowledge base and skill set. The lab practicum students were asked to evaluate milk quality, handle livestock, evaluate feeds, and many other things, making it difficult to fully prepare for the contest because it draws upon all aspects of animal science.
The Texas Tech team finished first in the oral presentation, second in quiz bowl and the written exam, and fourth in the laboratory practicum. Overall, Oklahoma State finished second, followed by North Carolina State in third.
"Placing first is a testament to the high quality of students and faculty we have in the Animal and Food Sciences department," Legako said. "In particular, this team is made up of exceptional individuals who are competitive, selfless and hard-working. Each member had their own particular strengths that ultimately allowed our team to separate from the competition."
The win qualified the team for the AQ national championships in Austin this July.
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or email@example.com