Varilux Optometry Student Bowl Ends In Tie

SAN DIEGO—At last week’s Varilux Optometry Student Bowl, a tie for first place was declared for the first time in the event’s 22-year history.

The winning question, “What vertical prism imbalance is induced when a patient reads 10 mm below the optical centers of the following prescription: OD: -3.00 -2.00 X 180, OS: -2.00 -0.50 x 090?” was correctly answered by both David Zimmerman of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Blake Dornstauder of Nova Southeastern University, resulting in the tie.

The two winning contestants were representing Nova Southeastern University. Judges came prepared for the unlikely instance of a tie and planned to present the two contestants with a tie-breaker question. At the request of Zimmerman and Dornstauder, the tie-breaker question was omitted allowing the two contestants to share the honor of winning first place at the coveted event, which was hosted by Essilor of America.

Given the tie, UAB and Nova will each receive the $1,000 prize for first place. The crystal trophy will be split between the winning schools where it will spend six months at UAB and six months at Nova. Brandon Prete, representing the University of Waterloo School of Optometry, came in third place, taking home $500.

“It’s such an honor to be able to participate in this event and represent Nova,” said Blake Dornstauder. “All of the contestants in this year’s event dedicated tremendous time and energy to excel in this competition. I am humbled to be able to share the prestige and honor of victory with David [Zimmerman].”

“It’s truly inspiring to see the future of the optometry industry come together with such enthusiasm and knowledge,” said Rod Tahran, OD, FAAO, vice president of professional relations and clinical affairs for Essilor of America. “Through this annual competition, Essilor is encouraging our future industry leaders to have pride in their chosen profession. It’s an amazing experience to see these students so excited about an event with educational benefits.”

As an added incentive, Volk Optical gifted each contestant with a Pan Retinal 2.2 diagnostic lens, personally engraved with the student’s name, school name and commemorating the evening’s event.