A group of Bedford Middle School students has won the state middle-school championship in a team-science competition and advanced to the national competition in Nebraska in May.

Bedford's "A" team topped 18 other Connecticut middle-school squads in the state tournament of the National Science Olympiad on March 21 at Robbins Middle School in Farmington.

In a competition in which the lower score wins, Bedford's "A" team edged Lyme/Old Lyme's "A" team 85-93. Lyme/Old Lyme's "B" team was a distant third at 124.

Bedford's "B" team finished seventh with 216, while a team from Coleytown Middle School finished in 11th place at 231.

The tournament included competition in 23 science, technology and engineering events.

On its website, the National Science Olympiad likens the competition to "an academic track meet" in which teamwork is critical. Subject matter includes genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology.

Competition is in three grade divisions: K through 6; middle school; and high school.

Bedford coaches Art Ellis and Rebecca Kaplan said in a new release they were especially proud because this marks only the school's second year in the state-level competition.

Ellis said Bedford would take a team of 15 students, plus six alternates, to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln for the nationals May 15 and 16.

The 15 students who will compete in Nebraska include: Ethan Chin, Genevieve Domenico, Derek Ye, Tyler Edwards, Angela Ji, Zach Katz, Charlie Kleeger, Maria Maisonet, Aniruddha Murali, Nishika Navrange, Swami Parimal, Sirina Prasad, Anisa Prasad, Jory Teltser and Alex Tsang.

The Bedford alternates are Mark Ballesteros, Tommy Fabian, Chet Ellis, Vignesh Kareddy, Augustin Liu and Anna Hill.