Russia students race to finish line


Russia students, left to right, Jacky Bensman, Lucy Tumbusch and Aiden Shappie get ready for their run in the Gravity Race Challenge held in Akron.

Austin Cordonnier, right racer, gets ready to race in his heat at the Lima Soap Box Derby.

Jonathan Bell, left racer, starts down the ramp at the starting line at the Lima Soap Box Derby.

Jacob Goubeaux, right racer, finished third in the stock division at the Lima Soap Box Derby.

Austin Cordonnier, left to right, Jacob Goubeaux and Jonathan Bell after the Lima Soap Box Derby.

The fifth-grade students in Jennifer Wysocki’s class competed in the Gravity Race Challenge held in Akron.

HOUSTON — The fifth-grade students in Jennifer Wysocki’s class at Russia Elementary School recently participated in the Gravity Race Challenge held in Akron. The students also competed in the Gravity Race Challenge STEM events.

Student receiving plaques for their accomplishments in the STEM events were:

• Sophie Francis, first place in Mini Soap Box Car Race, Grades 3-5.

• Jack Sherman, second place in Mini Soap Box Car Race, Grades 3-5.

• Jonas Magoto, third place in Mini Soap Box Car Race, Grades 3-5.

• Jared Poling, first place in Mini Soap Box Car Best Decorated Car, Grades 3-5.

• Jonas Magoto, third place in Press Release Competition, Grades 3-5.

The drivers for the event were Lucy Tumbusch, Aiden Shappie and Jacky Bensman. Lucy made it to the Sweet 16 in the stock car division.

Three of the students also participated in the Lima Soap Box Derby held in June. They were among 48 racers competing in the stock, super stock and master divisions.

The Lima race was formed in 1936 and is one of the oldest races in the country. Children have raced 65 times in the Lima Soap Box Derby since 1936. Speeds on “Derby Hill” reach up to 30 mph depending on various circumstances such as wind, road conditions, the mechanics of the car and drivers ability. The race almost didn’t happen this year because of all the rain. The road was under water and there were concerns about the water damage to the road surface.

Russia’s drivers were Austin Cordonnier, son of Aaron and Denise Cordonnier; Jonathan Bell, son of Russ Bell and Beth Bell; and Jacob Goubeaux, son of Dale and Brenda Goubeaux.

Jacob placed third in the stock division. He lost to the first and second place winners by a fraction of a second. The first place winner goes to Akron in July for the International Competition.

The adviser and coach for the students is Marcus Petitjean.