Savio Quiz Bowlers Compete at National History Bowl in DC
On the weekend of April 25-26 the Savio Quiz Bowl team sent Eleazar Camez, Nicholas Isakson, and Daniel Jilek to Washington, DC to compete in the JV division of the National History Bowl. There were a total of 90 teams from all over the nation involved in the event.
The day prior to the bowl Daniel competed in an individual event, the National Geography Olympiad. The event consisted of both a written portion and live-action buzzer portion. Daniel got off to a relatively slow start, finishing 22nd out of 78 and 33rd out of 78 in the two written sections. But he excelled in the four buzzer rounds, finishing 8th out of 78.
His combined score was good enough to place him in the playoff round. In the playoffs the competitors were split into two semi-final groups and continued with buzzer play. Daniel was the first player in his group to correctly answer 8 questions, advancing him to the final round! But in the final round Daniel was not one of the first three players to answer 8 questions, so he finished tied for fourth place. It was a great way to start off the weekend.
On Saturday morning the bowl competition began. The teams were divided into 15 groups with six teams in each, and played one match against each of the other five teams. The Eagles' morning group included #2 ranked High Tech from New Jersey, #32 ranked Saratoga B from California and unranked teams from LaSalle Peru Township of Illinois, Ransom Everglades from Florida, and WIT Home Educators from Virginia. The Eagles were ranked #29 going into the competition.
Eagles in the first match of day against eventual runner-up team from Saratoga B
The Eagles went 3-2 in their morning matches. They won convincingly over LaSalle Peru (290-70) and Ransom Everglades (250-130). Their match against WIT Home Educators was a nail biter with the score tied at 170-170 going into the final question. Eleazar Camez buzzed in with the right answer and Savio claimed a 180-170 win. Though they lost to High Tech (250-140) and Saratoga B (290-130), the Eagles put up a good fight. In the end High Tech and Saratoga B both advanced all the way to the semi-finals, where Saratoga B won and went to the championship match. They fell to #1 seed Hunter College Prep of New York in the finals.
The third place finish from the morning session was good enough to advance the Eagles to the upper divison of the competiton in the afternoon. They played five more matches in the afternoon against #3 ranked Eastern Washington Homeschool, #14 ranked Team Andy Huff from St. John's in Houston, #21 ranked Centennial A from Maryland, unranked Alagar Homeschool from Pennsylvania and unranked Thomas Jefferson from North Carolina.
Both Eastern Washington and Andy Huff lived up to their rankings as they beat the Eagles by scores of 380-160 and 340-160. Savio was within striking distance going into the final question against Centennial. But the team from Centennial beat the Eagles to the buzzer and prevailed 230-200. The Alagar Homeschool team surprised the Eagles a bit and beat them 260-160. But in their final match the Eagles prevailed over Thomas Jefferson by a score of 230-160. With just a 1-4 record in the afternoon round the Eagles finished in a tie for 33rd place, narrowly missing out on going to the single elimination playoff round of 32 teams. Daniel Jilek led the scoring for the Savio team with 80 points per game, including 10 powers.
In addition to High Tech and Saratoga who went to the final four, several of the Eagles' afternoon group opponents fared well in the playoff round, too. The Alagar Homeschool team that surprised the Eagles also surprised the #4 seed Team Borecki from Connecticut before finally losing in the round of 16 to the #13 seed from Sunset, Oregon. Team Andy Huff made it to the round of 16 as well, falling to the #5 seeded Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Eastern Washington Homeschool survived until the final 8 before falling to #2 High Tech.
With no playoffs the Savio team enjoyed a relaxing Saturday evening, and then got up ready for the individual history bee events on Sunday morning. Nicholas competed in the consolation bee while both Daniel and Eleazar competed in the JV history bee championship. There were a total of 188 students in the event, and after the six preliminary rounds Eleazar finished in the top half, but not in the top 32, meaning there would be no playoffs for Eleazar.
Daniel Jilek (furthest to the right) plays in the tie-breaker round of the bee
Daniel, however, was right on the bubble. He and seven other players were tied with 45 points each. The eight players competed in a sudden death tie-breaker to determine which four of them would make the field of 32. Daniel got in several good buzzes, but was not able to produce the correct answers. In the end he was not one of the four to make it into the playoff field, and his day ended. But tied for 33rd place out of 188 competitors at a national event was quite a good result. We are all very proud of Daniel and the whole team.
The Savio Quiz Bowlers' season is now over. They will take a few weeks off but will have some practices over the summer. Several members of the team will be attending Quiz Bowl camp in College Station in July. The team looks forward to an influx of talent in next year's ninth grade class. But players from any class are invited to come to a practice and catch the Quiz Bowl bug.