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The Lancer Ledger

The Student News Site of Lakeland Regional High School

The Lancer Ledger

The Student News Site of Lakeland Regional High School

The Lancer Ledger

Lakeland Places Third at Monmouth Hawk Hack

Clockwise from center left: Stephan Schwab, Kris Finkelstein, Mr. Truong, Carter Vargas, Noah Bulleri, Dan Czeczot, and Pat Scharr. (Courtesy of Stephan Schwab)

Six Lakeland Regional High School seniors competed at the Monmouth University High School Hawk Hack in West Long Branch, NJ, on February 16, 2024, an annual event which allows computer science students from throughout the region to demonstrate their programming skills in a competitive setting.

Advised by LRHS computer science and mathematics teacher Mr. Andrew Truong, seniors Noah Bulleri, Daniel Czeczot, Kristofer Finkelstein, Patrick Scharr, Stephan Schwab, and Carter Vargas competed in two teams of three in the ninety minute competition, which was preceded by a welcome session, warmup time and complimentary lunch.

One of Lakeland’s two three-person teams at work during the warmup session.
(Courtesy of Stephan Schwab) (Stephan Schwab)

The participating seniors, whose varied programming experience collectively includes Mr. Truong’s AP Computer Science courses and Lakeland’s Coding Club (advised by Ms. Ann Pagano,) brought only their best performance against a variety of schools from throughout the state.

After about two hours of nonstop programming, the team of Finkelstein, Schwab and Vargas placed a respectable third overall in the competition, securing a top-three spot for Lakeland at this year’s Hawk Hack. Finkelstein told the Ledger, “I think we all did our part and can agree that [we] really deserved the win.”

The three placing seniors each received a gift card to the online videogame distributor Steam as their prize, and all participants received free t-shirts to commemorate the occasion. As told by Vargas, “We weren’t expecting to place, so I’m proud of our team for doing this well.”

Before announcing the winners, participants and their advisors were also treated to a brief showcase of some of the computer science endeavors at Monmouth by Dr. Raman Lakshmanan.

Image Caption: Carter Vargas, Kris Finkelstein and Stephan Schwab, taking home third place for Lakeland, with Mr. Truong.
(Courtesy of Stephan Schwab)

Mr. Truong summarized Lakeland’s experience for the Ledger, saying, “I was very excited to go to my first ever computer science programming competition with some of my best students,” he began. “I am extremely proud that we were able to place third amongst all of the schools in attendance. I’m even more proud that my hours of AP Free Response review lessons “came in clutch” for one of the programming prompts.”

Asked if he’d be returning to Monmouth in the future, Mr. Truong closed by saying, “I’d go back to the same competition and am open to more if the opportunity presents itself.” Since all six competitors were seniors, it will be up to a completely fresh set of students to represent Lakeland come next year.

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About the Contributor
Stephan Schwab
Stephan Schwab, Editor-in-Chief
Stephan Schwab is a senior at LRHS and this is his third year writing for The Lancer Ledger. He is the Editor-in-Chief of The Ledger and President of the Journalism Club. Schwab looks forward to continuing to write for The Ledger on various topics and hopes to further his journalistic experience this year.

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    Jamie CawleyMar 20, 2024 at 8:38 am

    Congrats to you all! Well-deserved.