Quiz Bowl takes second at state, looks toward nationals

Walter Wang

Buzzers like these are used throughout the entire tournament; the team who presses the buzzer first gets to answer the question first. Photo by Muhammad Al-Rawi
Six students nabbed second place in the Class 4 MSHAA Quiz Bowl championship Saturday, May 5.
The team consisted of seniors Iyas Daghlas, Riaz Helfer, Bess Goodfellow, Nikhilesh Sharma and Walter Wang. After five rounds, RBHS fell to state powerhouse Ladue Horton Watkins.

“Ladue is the best team in the state, and we’ve never beaten them,” Charlie Dees, volunteer quiz bowl assistant, said. “Ladue is the best team ever from Missouri, and it’s a really strong year, and it’s impressive that we’re staying as dominant as we are in this field. Missouri quiz bowl is very strong this year, and there are a lot more good teams this year.  And we’ve beaten them all. We’ve done better than them at pretty much everything we’ve gone to.”This is the second year in a row RBHS has taken second place, having lost to Ladue last year in the finals also. This season has been one of RBHS’s best in quiz bowl, as two teams are now ranked among the nation’s elite.
We’ve “had a solid season,” Coach Greg Irwin said. “Our A-team is ranked in the top 40-50 in the country, and the B-team is on the cusp of the top 150 in the country, so [we] had very successful season. Hopefully, we’ll get some studying before nationals to truly each our highest potential, but [I’m] very pleased with the season.”
The team is looking forward to playing in the Partnership for Academic Competition National Scholastic Championship June 9-10. Washington University in St. Louis will be hosting the competition, at which the best teams in the nation will be present, this year.
Going to Nationals “should be fun because it’s a group building experience, and we develop a close bond when our team travels and plays against other teams,” Helfer said. “And it’s also just fun to meet people from around the country. I really look forward to a good challenge against the best teams in the nation, too, and hopefully we’ll do OK. Obviously, we’ll lose some, but hopefully we can represent Columbia Public Schools well.”
By Walter Wang