Three teams of Conway High School (CHS) students finished in top positions at the state’s 2023 HighSchoolHack competition on May 6 at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA) in Hot Springs, a news release issued by Conway Public Schools last week read.
The teams included first-place winners Chris Ablondi, Ellie Feng, Matthew Ringgold and Elijah Eberhard, third-place finishers Hudson Ledbetter, Thomas Ryan Coolidge, Ian Mendez and Evan Tan and fourth-place Preston Diehl, Rose Blaine Phillips, Edwin Flores and Tim Yang.
For many of the CHS students, this isn’t the first time they finished with high marks at HighSchoolHack. Ringgold and Feng finished in first place at last year’s competition, while Eberhard and Ablondi finished in third place.
The 12 students competed in a series of challenges and puzzles that dealt with topics of “reverse engineering, cryptography, programming, pen testing, web vulnerabilities and forensics,” the news release read. The puzzles, designed by ASMSA students, were a challenge the CHS students enjoyed.
“I came last year and enjoyed it so I decided I wanted to come back,” Ringgold said, per the news release. “All I ever hope to take away from these is the memories and maybe some new knowledge.”
Ellie Feng spoke similarly to Ringgold, talking about how fun the event is and the opportunity it provides to learn “about cool computer things and cyber stuff.”
HighSchoolHack organizer Nicholas Seward, an ASMSA instructor, said “Conway is the school to beat in the future,” the news release read.
“They have both a strong computer science program and talented students,” Seward said. “The winning team was so dominant that I am offering to make them Game Makers for next year’s competition.”
Staff Writer Kolton Rutherford can be reached at email@example.com.
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