Unlike postseason basketball games where the outcome is decided in the span of two hours, the 15 members of the Bondurant Middle School academic team had to wait a little more than a week to find out the final results of the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition (KAAC) Governor’s Cup earlier this month.

After being narrowly beaten by South Laurel in the quick recall competition 35-34, BMS was informed Monday in a YouTube announcement that it was named state Governor’s Cup middle school champion after picking up additional points in individual categories.

Bondurant scored 78 points compared to runner-up Louisville’s Meyzeek Middle School’s 48 points. It is the highest finish in school history, bettering Bondurant’s previous best of seventh place in 2018.

It's also the first time in BMS coach Robbie Roberts’ 10-year tenure that the school has had two individual state champions — Mahmood Ateyeh in math and Varshith Kotagiri in science. Kotagiri also placed second in math and Ateyeh was fourth in science.

“A lot of the same names kept popping up. I thought we had a good shot of being in the top five or top three,” Roberts told The State Journal. “I was blown away by the individual performances the kids had and the work they did. It was pretty incredible.”

Team members who placed in the top 10 are Holland Riddell (second in arts and humanities and third in language arts); Manas Garla (fourth in math); and Varshitha Ramesh (sixth in science).

In addition to Ateyeh, Kotagiri, Riddell, Garla and Ramesh, students on the team are Nathan Carpenter, Ridhi Penmecha, Kadin Jobe, Adrian Bennett, Loukya Akula, Priya Gautam, Vidya Vasudevan, Maeher Joshi, Malleshwar Suresh and Yuktha Julakanti.

Not only do these students deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication, but so too do the teachers, coaches, families and the school who have supported them in their academic endeavors.

Congratulations to the Bondurant Middle School academic team on winning the Governor’s Cup. You have made all of Franklin County proud.

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