2 State High Quiz Bowl teams compete in national tournament

Quiz Bowl teams from State College Area High School had the opportunity to show off their skills this weekend at a national tournament in Atlanta.

Team A, comprised of seniors Mia Cavener, Josh Geselowitz and Lars de Lorenzi, and junior Lily Zhang, went 6-5 in the National Academic Quiz Tournament’s High School National Championship Tournament, tallying 3,040 total points, according to results posted Sunday night. Their effort sent them into the first round of playoffs, where they lost narrowly to tie for 65th place.

Made up of seniors David Bodovski and Andrew Yang, sophomores Jack Piazza and Taran Samarth, and freshman Jupiter Ding, Team B went 5-5 with 1,830 total points.

“Many of these students have been Quiz Bowl members their entire high school career and, for the seniors, this is the culmination of a lot of hard work, enjoyable competition and lasting friendships,” co-adviser Sheila Abruzzo said in an email.

Quiz Bowl is a competitive, academic, interscholastic activity for teams of four students. The teams use buzzers to answer questions about science, math, history, literature, mythology, geography, social science, current events, sports and popular culture.

The matches, according to a report from the organization, feature a mix of individual competition and team collaboration.

Abruzzo said the State High teams generally meet once a week to prepare for the tournament, and travel to multiple tournaments throughout the year.

Both teams must place first and second at the same tournament to qualify for nationals.

Practices consist of going through “buzzer questions,” while also studying individually to master subject areas, Abruzzo said.

State High also has a long — and successful — history with the tournament.

Teams from the high school participated in the national championship every year since 2000, and won the tournament in 2000 and 2011.

“As long as there has been academic quiz competition in some form, State High kept up the tradition of outstanding results from highly intelligent, capable and dedicated players of the sport,” Abruzzo said in an email.

Prior to NAQT, State High was regularly selected to represent Pennsylvania at the Panasonic Academic Challenge in Disney World, and also competed in Knowledge Masters Championships and Scholastic Quiz.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo