CyberPatriot XV Crowns New National Champions

CyberPatriot XV launched last fall with 5,266 teams from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, U.S. overseas territories, and military dependent schools in Europe and the Pacific. Just 28 earned a ticket to the National Finals in Bethesda, Md., and just one team from each of three divisions earned the coveted title of “champion.” 

CyberPatriot crowned its national champions March 20:  

  • “CyberAegis Tempest” ​from Del Norte High School in San Diego, Calif., took the honors in the Open Division; 
  • “Runtime Terror” representing Troy High School’s Navy JROTC in Fullerton, Calif., won the All Service Division; and
  • “CyberAegis Vitalis” from Design 39 Campus in San Diego, won the Middle School Division. 

CyberPatriot is the nation’s largest youth cyber education program and the Air & Space Forces Association’s flagship STEM program for advancing youth cyber skills. The annual National Youth Cyber Defense Competition involves more than 5,000 teams from middle and high schools annually. 

The finals competition included a variety of challenges over three days. Teams competed to maintain servers and repair system vulnerabilities while defending against simulated cyberattacks.  

“You are truly America’s future and what you are doing in cyber is not only remarkable, but needed,” said AFA President & CEO Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright, USAF (Ret.), as the teams gathered to begin the competition. “I want to emphasize that point. We need you. We need your creativity, your ideas, your willingness to share, and your boldness. You are already CyberPatriots, and the name says it all: a dedication to not only cyber, but to something bigger than yourselves.” 

John-Michael Linares, coach of “Runtime Terror” commended all the competitors, including his own championship team. “The students worked really hard for this win,” he said. “They spent countless hours researching and applying cybersecurity trends, attack vectors, and mitigations. Each year, I’m awestruck by the level of technical expertise the students are able to achieve. This year is no exception.” 

Winners take home more than bragging rights. They also won $51,000 in scholarships from Diamond Sponsor Cisco, the network technology giant. It was the fourth year that Cisco awarded scholarships to the Cisco NetAcad Challenge, bringing its total scholarships awarded to CyberPatriot winners to over $200,000. 

The top three winners in the Open and All Service Divisions also were awarded four-year undergraduate scholarships to Silver Sponsor Gannon University; first-place team members received full scholarships, while second-place team members received $4,000 each, and third-place team members received $3,000 each.

Maj. Gen. Gregory J. Gagnon, deputy chief of space operations for intelligence, commended both the teams and the sponsors at the National Finals banquet.  

“America talks a lot about staying strong and staying safe,” he said. “In order to do that, it takes corporate citizens like this that, regardless of the bottom line, say that we need to give back. Because, when we need to build skills in the young generation … we need to reward what we want to see. That’s how we motivate, and that’s how we incentivize.” 

Other notable Space Force, Air Force, and industry figures joining in the ceremonies included Lauren Barrett Knausenberger, Chief Information Officer for the Department of the Air Force; Aaron Copeland, vice president of engineering for Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems sector; Cindy DeCarlo, director of global government and national security for Cisco; and Veronica Daigle, director of acquisition and innovation policy at Boeing.  

CyberPatriot announced six new Cyber All-American Awards, given to senior-class CyberPatriot competitors who qualified for the National Finals in four consecutive seasons: 

  • Chan Chung from Troy High School 
  • Akhil Guntur from Del Norte High School 
  • Johnathan Lin from Del Norte High School 
  • Brian Ni from Troy High School 
  • Akshay Rohatgi from Del Norte High School 
  • Alvin Zheng from Del Norte High School 

“The end of each season is bittersweet,” said Paul Johnson, coach of CyberAegis, which has fielded 11 Championship teams in eight years. “I’ve been with most of the seniors for 6 or 7 years. I try to convince [them] to repeat their senior year so they can stay with the team, but for some reason they all insist on going off to college and taking on challenging careers.” 

Applications to compete in CyberPatriot’s 16th season open April 1. To learn more about CyberPatriot and register your team, visit



National Champion: CyberAegis Tempest ​from Del Norte High School (San Diego, Calif.) 

Runner-Up:Half Dome from Franklin High School (Elk Grove, Calif.) 

Third Place:CyberAegis Drift ​from Del Norte High School (San Diego, Calif.)​ 


National Champion:Runtime Terror from Troy High School Navy JROTC (Fullerton, Calif.) 

Runner-Up: Terabyte Falcons ​from Scripps Ranch High School Air Force JROTC (San Diego, Calif.)​​ 

Third Place:TXPatriot | baits 64==​ from Roosevelt High School Army JROTC (San Antonio, Texas) 


National Champion:CyberAegis Vitalis from Design 39 Campus (San Diego, Calif.) 

Runner-Up: CyberAegis Aeris from Oak Valley Middle School (San Diego, Calif.) 

Third Place:The Other Half from Toby Johnson Middle School (Elk Grove, Calif.​) 


Boeing Cyber-Physical Systems Challenge: 

c¥b3rh0u#d5 from Carmel High School (Carmel, Ind.) 

Open Division Cisco Networking Challenge: 

1st Place:CyberAegis Drift ​from Del Norte High School (San Diego, Calif.) 

2nd Place:Half Dome from Franklin High School (Elk Grove, Calif.) 

3rd Place:CyberAegis Tempest ​from Del Norte High School (San Diego, Calif.) 

All Service Division Cisco Networking Challenge: 

1st Place: TXPatriot | baits 64==​ from Roosevelt High School Army JROTC (San Antonio, Texas) 

2nd Place: Entropy from Fullerton Composite Squadron – CAP (Fullerton, Calif.) 

3rd Place:Terabyte Falcons ​ from Scripps Ranch High School Air Force JROTC (San Diego, Calif.) 

Middle School Division Cisco Networking Challenge Winner: 

CyberAegis Aeris from Oak Valley Middle School (San Diego, Calif.)