2011 Catapult Team Winners

Members of the Islip High School Catapult team took first place at this year’s 9th Annual Long Island Championship Pumpkin Fling. The Fling is an annual event sponsored by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and blends science, engineering, and technology, as teams compete to catapult pumpkins the farthest distance across the farm. The competition is an opportunity for science and engineering Tech. students to design, build and operate a sophisticated mechanical device. Teams come from all over Long Island to compete.

For an impressive sixth year in a row, the Islip High School Catapult Team captured the Pumpkin Flinger title for their division, held this year on November 12th at the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank, New York. In addition to winning the first-place trophy, the team was also awarded the perpetual trophy, which is considered the “Stanley Cup” of pumpkin flinging. They did an excellent job and should be proud of their accomplishments.

The catapult, fondly named “Jack O’ Splatter” was designed and constructed by members of Islip’s Catapult Teams. This year’s Islip High School Catapult team led by coach Ken Phalen, consists of Dan Angileri, Mike Barsalona, James Claudio, Brian Eichner, Mike Maratta and Sam Melaniff. The team looks forward to continuing their quest for “pumpkin gold” next October and even hopes to attend the World Champion Pumpkin Chunkin Tournament in Delaware in 2012 to celebrate their 10th year.

Islip’s winning ways extends beyond the High School level. The program expanded over the years first to the Middle School to develop a Farm team for the HS. Under the direction of Tech Teacher Dave Claps the Islip Middle School again placed in their division by taking 2nd place in their division.

Cub Scout Pack 370 from Commack Road School has been utilizing this competition over the years to help their Weblos Scouts earn the Engineering Badge and has brought home trophies several times. This year a Den under the leadership of Tom Walsh they earned recognition by placing first in the accuracy contest.