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2018 NATIONAL ACADEMIC CHAMPIONSHIP HIGHLIGHTS

New Orleans Phase 2018

Alabama Wins Both High School Events The Altamont School Triumphs in Varsity Division, Gadsden City High Takes JV
Edmonson County Middle School (KY) Goes 8-0 in Junior Division

Semifinalist Clinton High (MS)

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Front: Caitlin Carter, Caleb Collins, Clark Hensley
Back: Kipp Vinzant, Patrick Vinzant, Tanner DeYoung

A perennial playoff contender, The Altamont School won the JV division in New Orleans in 2017. This year’s Varsity team lost their first preliminary match to Harrison (IN) 400-225, but entered the playoffs ranked No. 4 with a 5-1 record and advanced all the way to the last High School Varsity game in New Orleans. Earlier in the playoffs, they had defeated Bishop Kelley (OK) 405-170 and No. 1-seeded St. Martin’s Episcopal (LA) 335-320. Meanwhile, Clinton (MS), seeded No. 6, found themselves in the last game after beating first-timers Columbia (FL) 300-265, upsetting Harrison (IN) 300-250, and edging Pingry (NJ) 345-275.

Altamont led after the Warm Up Round, 70-35; after the Bonus Round, 160-95. Clinton advanced 80-10 in their 60 Seconds category, The Bible; Altamont, 80-20 on Great Expectations. Clinton drew close to Altamont, 260-265 after 50 unanswered points, identifying Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald from an audio clip; answering a question about seal; and solving a quantitative Physics question. Then Altamont advanced with 80 unanswered points, starting with a visual question: “A nude portrait by this artist sold for $157.2 million at Sotheby's on May 14, achieving the 4th-highest price for any work of art at auction. Who painted it?” (Ans. Amedeo Modigliani) and followed by questions about Music Theory, broccoli, armatures, Luddites, and Analytical Geometry. By a final score of 360-295, Altamont won New Orleans and advance to the Final Four in Orlando.

The Altamont team moments after victory

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Left to right: Vivek Sasse,Kuleen Sasse,Asher Desai,Sameer Sultan, Henry Chang,Suneeti Chambers, Coach Lindsey Motlow

Junior Varsity

In the 9th annual Junior Varsity division play at the National Academic Championship, Harrison (IN) advanced to the New Orleans finals and they faced Gadsden City (AL). Gadsden was edged in last year’s JV finals by Altamont, 315-300, but this year they won the last match, 350-190, finishing with an 8-0 record.

Gadsden City, New Orleans JV champ

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Left to right: Coach Col. Wayne Davenport, Ade Akisanya, Claire Tumlin, Gaby Gaspar, Alex Knight, Hunter Ender

New Orleans MVP

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Altamont’s Vivek Sasse, MVP

Who Wants to Be a Game Show Host?

Another edition of our "reality show," WHO WANTS TO BE A GAME SHOW HOST? was conducted. Students (graduating seniors) were invited to audition as moderators, and coaches played the game. Students understood the event to be a real audition for a job as one of the moderators at next year's Nationals. This year's winner was Sierra Sutton from Cardinal Spellman (NYC).

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Sierra Sutton

A Fond Farewell

Perennial contender Pingry School’s (NJ) Coach Malla Godfrey is retiring. She achieved various successes during her ten years at the helm, including QuizNet national championships; winning New Orleans and advancing to the National Academic Championship finals in 2015; to the semifinals in 2016. We’ll miss her and wish her all the best

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Malla Godfrey

Washington Phase 2018

NEW JERSEY WINS BOTH VARSITY & MIDDLE SCHOOL DIVISIONS
Chatham High & Warren in Middle School Triumph
Rosa Parks (KY) Wins Elementary div.
Emmaus (PA) takes JV

Chatham (NJ) advanced to the final game in DC last year, defeated by Wayzata (MN). Their road to the final match in 2018 saw them enter the playoffs seeded 4th. They then defeated Biotech (NJ) 400-240, and edged No. 1 ranked Hastings A (NY) 315-280. Meanwhile, Brebeuf Jesuit, part of that powerful Indiana bloc, beat Ledford (NC) 385-270 and Chatham B (NJ) 345-210.

Chatham led 55-35 after the first period. Controlling four of the five bonuses, Chatham extended that lead to 125-75. Brebeuf Jesuit advanced 60-30 in “Sixty Seconds” on the Mystery category; Chatham advanced 70-30 on Classical Music. They won the game by a score of 330-200.

All three Chatham teams celebrate their victory

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Left to right: The A team: Alex Cotignola, Ameya Phadnis, Sophie Andrews, Armen Panossian

Brebeuf Jesuit

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Left to right: Hugh Bromund, Shaan Mishra, John Morrissey, Julian Boes, Andrew Caito

Close Games

Among the other exciting playoff games:
Chatham B 300, Booker T. Washington (OK) 280
Elkhorn South (NE) 295, East Varsity (PA) 290

Junior Varsity

Emmaus (PA) defeated Smith Station (AL) in the last JV game 300-185. Emmaus has the distinction of being the first three-player team ever to win any NAC event.

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Left to right: Ethan Hoben Max Hafner Shreya Sriramineni

Chicago Phase 2018

University School of Indiana Wins Chicago
Detroit Jesuit Takes JV
Harding Academy (AR) Wins Junior Division
Hawken (OH) repeats as Chicago Elementary winner

The Indiana team moments after victory

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Left to right: standing,Coaches Chris Bradley & Jacob Thurman; Tom Plant seated, Jack Paganelli, Alex Johnson, Alex Brinkman, Jay Maturi

Indiana’s 32-school White River Academic League includes two schools – Harrison & Zionsville – that have won the National Academic Championship twice. Those two made the playoffs this year, but it was a third WRAL school, University School of Indiana, asserting themselves this year, winning the Chicago phase of the tournament. University School finished 15th in the nation last year, with a 6-2 record. This year they entered the playoffs ranked second, with a 5-1 record, having been beaten handily by Bexley (OH) 335-235. But in the playoffs they defeated Greenwood (AR) 330-190 and then Detroit Jesuit 330-190. Meanwhile, Bexley, seeded No. 1, found themselves in the last game after decisive wins over Daviess County (KY) 410-220 and Scarsdale (NY) 445-140.

Indiana led after the Warm Up Round, 70-40. Bexley led 130-100 after the Bonus Round, having swept the 21ST-CENTURY NOVELS category. Indiana advanced 90-0 in their 60 Seconds category, SOCIAL STUDIES; Bexley advanced only 60-20 on their category, LANGUAGE ARTS. That enabled University School of Indiana to retake the lead, 210-190 going into the 4th quarter. The “Stump the Experts” round lived up to its name, with Bexley getting only two right and University four out of the eighteen questions. By a final score of 270-225, University School of Indiana won Chicago and advanced to the Final Four in Orlando.

The Bexley Scoring Machine set an all-time record for hiatus: last seen at Nationals in 1993

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Left to right: John D'Alessandro, Lee Cook, Coach Nikki Hoch, William Rauschenberg, Henry Greentree

Junior Varsity

In the 9th annual Junior Varsity division play at the National Academic Championship, University of Detroit Jesuit advanced to the Chicago finals and then faced Zionsville (IN). Thanks to their sweeping of the PETER AND THE WOLF bonus, in which they were asked to identify celebrity narrators; and sweeping their Sixty Seconds category, STATES, Jesuit defeated Zionsville, 330-190, finishing with an 8-0 record.

Detroit Jesuit, Chicago JV champ

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Left to right: standing, Brice Bixler, Coach Dan Hill, Ted Moore, Michael Moore kneeling, Coach Dan Babcock, Ryan Suchyta, Robert French, John Kabrossi

A Thriller

The most exciting game of the Chicago playoffs was the first-round match between perennial powerhouse Daviess County (KY) and newcomer Canton (SD). Canton is the first South Dakota team ever to make the playoffs. They led the Kentucky team 60-25 after the “Warm Up Round.” It was all Daviess County in the Bonus Round, and they took a commanding 170-85 lead after sweeping the JOHN BROWN, MATH TERMS, and FINISH THE TITLE bonuses. Canton mastered the “60 Seconds Round,” and trailed only 215-230 after sweeping the HISTORY’S VILLAINS category. In the final period, Canton promptly took the lead on Geography: “These two countries were formerly connected by a chain of limestone shoals called Adam's Bridge. Name the two countries closest to the Maldives, to the northeast.” (Ans. India and Sri Lanka) On the next question, the Kentucky team retook the lead on Ancient History: “The son of a member of the priestly aristocracy and, through his mother, related to the royal house of the Hasmonaeans, he turned himself over to the Romans during the First Jewish Revolt and was kept alive, because he prophesied that Vespasian would become Emperor. He later became a Roman citizen with the family name Flavius. Who was this historian, the author of The Jewish War and Antiquities of the Jews?” (Ans. Josephus) The teams were tied at 250 after Canton got this Jazz question: “Ray Nance and Billy Taylor wrote a dirge-like arrangement for violin and piano for this piece, which was played at the funeral of its composer and the bandleader who made it his signature tune. The lyrics usually mention Sugar Hill, a historic district in Manhattan that was home to wealthy African-Americans in the 1920s and 1930s. What Billy Strayhorn song, performed by Duke Ellington, is about transportation to Harlem?” (Ans. “Take the A Train”) Daviess County moved into the lead yet again on Religion: “He killed Ravana, the king of Lanka, who had kidnapped his wife and returned to the Ayodhya Kingdom to claim his crown. That story is told in a Sanskrit epic that bears his name. Who is this husband of Sita, considered, along with Krishna, one of the most significant avatars of Vishnu?” (Ans. Rama) Canton tied it up yet again on Mythology: “This indefinite pronoun is an important part of the Odyssey. After escaping the Lotus-Eaters, Odysseus and his men are captured by Polyphemus. Odysseus tricks the Cyclops by telling him that his name is what?” (Ans. Nobody) The game was tied at 270 at the final bell! The first overtime question: “India has cut royalties that local seed companies pay to what huge agrochemical company for the second time in two years, potentially fueling another conflict with the American company that threatened to leave the region in 2016?” Daviess County knew it was Monsanto and won the game. But Canton proved itself a contender for “Rookie of the Year” honors.

Who Wants to Be a Game Show Host?

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Eli Cooper