National competition a success for Quiz Bowl

Katie Buchanan with Michael Schreiber

Last fall, freshman Greg Peterson revived Lawrence’s once dominant quiz bowl team. Within a single year, the new quiz bowl team has already made it to the National Academic Quiz Tournaments’ Intercollegiate Championship, the nation’s largest, most prestigious quiz bowl event for college students.
The Lawrence team made it to the championship, eventually placing eighth out of 32 teams from around the country. The team competed April 11-12 at the national tournament hosted by Washington University in St. Louis.
Freshman Emily Koenig, another team member, said, “There were many, many teams there from all over the country–we even faced two from Canada.” Other teams at the tournament included Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Swarthmore and MIT.
The team competed in the Division II tournament, which is reserved for undergraduate teams in either their first or second year of existence and teams that have not previously qualified for the national tournament.
Lawrence earned a spot in the NAQT championship by competing in four tournaments between November and March and placing first in three of them.
Quiz bowl tournaments typically feature head-to-head competitions between two teams who play with up to four people in each round.
“Dartmouth beat us by five, which is an incredibly narrow margin…The closeness factor was both good and bad, because we were happy to see that we were real competition,” said Koenig.
Lawrence’s quiz bowl team includes Peterson and Koenig, fellow freshmen Richard Wanerman and Catherine Albright, as well as sophomore Michael Schreiber. Albright was not able to attend the national tournament.
Individually, Peterson outscored all other Division II competitors at the tournament and received a trophy to mark his personal accomplishment.
The recent success Lawrence has enjoyed was foreshadowed almost fifty years ago.
In the past, quiz bowl was incarnated as the “GE College Bowl,” a popular television show sponsored by General Electric.
The show pitted college teams from around the country against each other; and in the 1964-65 season, Lawrence was a five-time winner, making the maximum number of appearances allowed on the show and earning a silver trophy, $10,500 in scholarship money and national recognition.
The current Quiz Bowl team seems to be on the same road to success as their 1960s predecessors. Regarding their 8th place finish Koenig said, “We really came together as a team.” For more information about the quiz bowl team’s recent success, visit: http://blogs.lawrence.edu/news/2008/04/revived_quizbowl_team_earns_la.html

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