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Walled Lake Northern’s Sofie Chernyak wins 9th annual Hack-A-Thon

Walled Lake Northern’s Sofie Chernyak wins 9th annual Hack-A-Thon
2024 Hack-A-Thon winners and judges with big check

Walled Lake Northern sophomore Sofie Chernyak took home the grand prize for the second-straight year at the Walled Lake Consolidated Schools’ 9th annual Hack-A-Thon.

The annual Hack-A-Thon is a coding competition, where students create and build innovative programs or applications to add value or solve a consumer’s need. The students are judged on innovation value, application design, code quality, and presentation quality.

This year featured the largest field the competition has ever seen. Ten teams competed for a cash prize purse of $2,625.

Chernyak’s physical training-based subway surfer style game called The Ascension earned a final average score of 19 out of 20 possible points, which is the highest mark in the history of the competition.

Walled Lake Western junior Vidya Vuyyuru and Walled Lake Northern’s team the Pizza Kids, made up of juniors Gabriel Finsilver and Noah Nicholson, tied for second place. Vuyyuru designed a web-based application to virtually assist anyone in properly saving for anything, while Finsilver and Nicholson created a YouTube Chromebook plug-in with the sole purpose of removing YouTube advertisements.

Maya Prep sponsored the competition for the 8th consecutive year donating dinner to the contestants, gift cards to all participants, as well as the very generous cash prize. Cherynak earned the top prize of $1,000 and the two second place finishers won $400 per team.

This year’s best team name award, which is voted on by everyone in attendance, was given to team McRib made up of Walled Lake Northern freshman David Devany and Ethan Mann.