Rondebosch Boys' High School just rocks! When they do well at something, they really do well at it. The SACO is one of those things they are getting better and better at. Just like UCT are getting better and better at the ACM ICPC and the likes.
The results were announced tonight at the awards ceremony and I don't think many people foresaw such a dominance from Bosch. Mark Danoher came first, but that was kind of expected since he was the only member of this year's IOI team that got another chance. The next four places where swiped by the four Bosch contestants! The last medal went to a grade 10 who's the youngest medalist we've had for a while - possibly even since Bruce!
The top six and the training team for next year's IOI in Egypt:
- Mark Danoher
- Saadiq Moolla
- Haroon Moolla
- Raeez Lorgat
- Robert Ketteringham
- Schalk-Willem Krüger
The way things are looking now, we only need Mark to fall ill and we're on target for an all-Bosch team. :-P It's strange looking back and thinking that just four years ago I was the very first finalist from Bosch and that since then they(we)'ve had such a strong showing with this Charles and now this bunch. Brock also tells me there are some grade 10's who could make an appearance next year, so this isn't just a once-off fluke.
What really excites me is that we Haroon and Robert are grade 11 and Schalk is grade 10. So we could have some continuity with them making the team more than once (or at least training), which is seldom the case.
Over the past seven-eight years Bruce and Carl have pretty much been the reason for SACO's vast improvements. They brought the SACO from manual evaluation to fully automated evaluation, much like the IOI runs now. To do this they put in one hell of a lot of work into an evaluation system that now runs so smoothly and is so effective that it's difficult thinking what it must have been like back in the dark ages (before I was around). It's difficult summarising all their contributions.
To put it bluntly, Bruce has already submitted his PhD thesis and Carl is almost done and both with be leaving us come the end of the year. Along with Donald (see below), we will only realise the full impact of the loss come their departure. I've been creeping into their roles over the past four months or so and I was the "chief whipper" for the SACO this year, with Bruce and Carl taking more of a onlooker role so that I would be prepared for when they leave.
It's a tough role to fill and I've therefore been recruiting some new helpers. Next year, however, I've heard we will be getting a number of this year's SACO finalists into UCT next year so we should manage just fine. If you're one of the finalists and considering where to go - just remember what I told you about UCT dominating in the college contests. :-D
I can't wait to get cracking with the training of our new youngsters! Who will be going to Egypt next year? Right now, no-one is guaranteed a place. Who? WHO? Nothing's confirmed yet, but we might be inviting one or two additional finalists to the training. They won't be eligible for the team though - thank the blinking rules for that. :-(
And now for something completely different:
The behind-the-scene men! Left to right: Donald, Carl, Migael, Max, Keegan, Bruce, Marco (and there are many more!)
Scientific committee and medalists:
The set is incomplete without a photo of our winner on his own. Congrats Mark!
Donald Cook. The more I think about it, the more I realise how much we're going to miss him. He retires to Bredarsdorp at the end of the year.
I've uploaded all my photos here.