Teens take spaghetti bridge building crown

A pair of 14-year-olds shock their college-aged opponents by wining the big prize at this year's Okanagan College competition.

  • Mar. 4, 2011 3:00 p.m.

Heavweight winners Johnathan Halbgwochs (right) and Clayton Mazu retrieve the remains of their bridge which withstood 209 kg of pressure before breaking and won the annual Okanagan College spaghetti bridge building contest.

For the roar from the audience, one would have thought the second-place team from Okanagan College had just won the $1,500 grand prize during this year’s Spaghetti Bridge building contest.

Each year, students get a chance to play with their food and build a pasta bridge capable of holding extreme amounts of weight.

It’s an engineering competition which attracts teams from around the world, with one team from Hungary even sporting a 3M sponsorship logo on their shirts.

But it didn’t help them beat 14-year-old Lumby high school students Johnathan Halbgwochs and Clayton Mazu.

“I’m a little nervous because that team that’s up next won last year,” said Mazu as he watched quietly from the back of the OC theatre.

Moments later, with the college crowd whooping and booing and carrying on, the two smiled at each other.

With a bridge that only broke at 209 kilograms, the pair had won the competition.

Their strands of spaghetti supported the weight of approximately two good-sized football players.

Neither boy had a strategy but the announcer pointed out their coach, a family friend, has won the competition before.

The pair spent six weeks building their bridge and then transported it down to Kelowna in a wooden carrying case in a van.

Both boys said they would like to be engineers someday.

Their opponents, the students en route to meeting that goal in college, were nearly 50-pounds off the boys’ winning mark.


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