The day started early (at 7 a.m.) with the North Fork Pentathlon team loading on the bus in the parking lot at the school for the ride down to Ranchos Middle School.
The Madera County Pentathlon Super Quiz had been moved forward by an hour at the request of the North Fork students. They had several jobs to do that day and a long way to go in between.
The North Fork seventh grade team - down two competitors due to illness and a family move - took second place in the Super Quiz that morning and third overall in the Pentathlon. The eighth grade team took first place in both the Super Quiz and the pentathlon overall. There were also many medals awarded to individual students.
As soon as the Super Quiz was over, five of the North Fork students loaded into a vehicle with their Destination Imagination Team Managers and started on their way up to Sacramento and the old McClellan Air Force Base for the State Finals of Destination Imagination.
The students Face Timed with their teammates back in Madera to watch the awards ceremony for Pentathlon. Many in the car were called for medals, with one medaling in four of five categories.
They reached Sacramento just in time to perform their central challenge at the DI competition. The Lean, Green Improv Machine team competed in Three-Peat, the improvisation challenge. Students are given a scenario and a randomly chosen stock character and genre and asked to plan and perform a skit in three minutes using props and costumes from the 13 inch square “box o stuff” they bring with them.
Then they are asked to do the same scenario with two other stock characters and performance genres for the 3-peat. It means thinking very quickly on your feet and extreme teamwork.
Straight from their Central Challenge, they had to run to their Instant Challenge, which is a quick problem they have to solve together in about five minutes usually. The scores from the Central and Instant Challenges are combined for the final score for each team.
The two eighth graders and four seventh graders came in first place and took home the trophy and gold medals for their challenge.
North Fork had two other teams entered in the DI State Finals. One finished third in their challenge and the other tied for sixth.
The first place team, the Lean, Green Improv Machine, and the third place team, The Fantabulous Four Diva Dibblers, who did a community service project related to the massive tree die off in the foothills, qualified for DI Global Finals at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville at the end of May.
They need to raise an enormous sum of money in the next few weeks to attend. To help these students reach their destination, a GoFundMe account has been set up on Facebook at www.gofundme.com/globalfinals2017. Or, watch for fundraisers around town in the next few weeks.