All it takes is a little glue and a box of Prince linguini.
Or, in the case of regional high school freshman Ben DeBettencourt, less than a box. Ben has spent the past few weeks hard at work on Anthony, a small structure weighing just 301 grams that took home the grand prize Monday morning in the 17th annual linguini bridge contest.
Anthony withstood 1,500 pounds of weight without showing so much as a crack, outlasting 98 entrants in the contest. Of the 99 bridges turned in on Friday, 87 made it past the qualifying round, while 39 moved past the first round.
A total of 15 bridges held up 250 pounds to advance to the final round.
The linguini bridge contest is a staple of spring at the high school and is open to freshmen and sophomores. Students can work solo or in pairs, using only pasta and glue to build their bridges. The bridges must weigh less than a pound.
Ben said he spent “a good 30 to 40 hours” working on his bridge.
“I just knew it needed the strong legs, and the smaller size helped,” he said.
The bridge contest began at 7:45 a.m., ending just after noon, as a bridge built by freshmen Erin Hill and Whitney Schroeder, crashed to the ground after holding up 1,375 pounds. Erin and Whitney took second place.
Third place went to freshmen Britta Nelson and Ashley Wood, whose bridge held 990 pounds.
Ben said he planned to push his bridge to the limit and see if it could break the school record. The record was set by Gordon Moore last year; Gordon's winning bridge held up 2,150 pounds.
“We're going to max it out,” Ben said.