Harriet Tubman is awarded the Golden Halo!

What a run she had. And, what a shakeup of our standings based on the final two rounds!

We started out our Lent Madness game with the Round of 32. Each correct saintly selection was worth 2 points. The powerhouse duo of Mary Corlett and Joanie Hawkinson collected 28 points! Rex McKee pulled in 26, along with Dianne Pizey and Susan Swann. It was an impressive start to the contest. Peter Stebinger (he’ll be important shortly) scored 20 points, enough to put him in 16th place.

Round 2, the “Saintly 16” saw the awarding of 3 points for each correct saintly selection. It got harder as you only had the saints that you picked correctly in the first round to help you out. Choose incorrectly early on and it can equal a low score at the end. The leader of this round was Barb Risken who added 18 points to her total. Elizabeth Olson, Ginny Jacobsen, Mike Walters, Steve Schewe, and Peter Stebinger (there’s that name again…) each had 15.

Round 3, the “Elate 8” added 5 points for each correct saintly selection. It gets much harder now due to losses accumulated along the path. But that did not matter to Barb Risken. She pulled in a round leading 20 points and looked to be unstoppable. We saw five brackets earn 15 points here – Mike Walters, Stacy Walters (rivalry!) Kathy Schweikart, Vicki Madsen and, you guessed it, Peter Stebinger.

The semi-final round, the “Faithful 4” allowed for participants to earn 8 points for each finalist they selected. Three teams correctly selected both final saints – Stacy Walters (pulling ahead of Mike!), Nigel Mendez, and again, Peter Stebinger.

Now the match-up for the Golden Halo was set. Harriet Tubman versus Joseph. Interestingly, 13 points were awarded for the correct choice, and 13 of our contestants selected Tubman. Four selected Joseph, and we would have had a different outcome if the final vote was different. It worked out this year that In order to win this contest, you had to correctly pick the final saint. The top four places each did.

Couple of interesting facts/stats (at least to me!):

1) Oliver Mendez scored points in every round. But only finished in 20th. He lost a lot of saints in the first round, but had Tubman going to the end. He scored the minimum points each round after the first.

2) We had two sets of brackets that had the exact same score in each round. Barb Nicol/Lois Neve and Ginny Jacobsen/Elizabeth Olson. However, they had different choices in their brackets.

3) Our champion was never in the lead until yesterday’s final match was over. He was the only contestant to correctly pick both of the finalists and the Golden Halo winner.

4) The difference between 2nd place and 5th place was 4 points – each of the places separated by a single point!

Without further ado, the top five….

5th place with 68 points, Barb Risken.

4th place with 69 points, Rex McKee.

3rd place with 70 points, Kathy Schweikart.

2nd place with 71 points, Mike Walters.

AND OUR CHAMPION, with 79(!!!!) points, Peter Stebinger!

I would be remiss if I did not address the elephant in the room. Our own leader, though, as she says, she is no more saintly than any of us, while not officially competing was also playing along. She whopped us. Lisa Wiens Heinsohn scored 28 in the 1st round, and 21 in the second round! Each a round winning score. After that she slowed, a little, but still finished out with a total of 85 points! St. John’s is clearly in good hands!

Thank you to Lisa for organizing this for us all. This was a lot of fun and made not seeing everyone in person a little more bearable. I greatly look forward to next year (and doing better…).  Peter should be celebrated appropriately once we return to “normal.”

-Nigel

Below are the final standings: