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Colonia Tournament of Excellence

Colonia Tournament of Excellence

On March 1, 2024, the Quiz Bowl team of Wayne Valley and Wayne Hills engaged in a battle of wits at the annual Colonia High School “Tournament of Excellence.” At this competition, teams faced off against other high school Quiz Bowl teams from across the state. The competition included four preliminary rounds. The first of these preliminary rounds started with a large group “before and after” question round that requires teams to mash-up clues of two things like: “The adage that ‘anything can go wrong, will go wrong’ plus the long running procedural TV show starring Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson.” The answer? Murphy’s (Law) and Order: SVU.

Then the teams moved on to three rounds of head to head matches with teams from other schools. During these bouts, the students answered questions in a ‘Jeopardy- style’ in increasing difficulty. The topics for these questions ranged from chemistry to algebra; from monarchies to astronomy; from world religions to Dungeons and Dragons characters to gridiron. Both teams that competed for Wayne Valley went undefeated on the day of the event in their head-to-head matches. After the preliminary round, the teams were reseeded, bracket style, and one team moved on to the semi-final elimination round as the second seed. The team: a group of sophomores, captained by Ari Barnes included Eddie Chen, Gavin Chen, Shan Nagendra, and Skyler Urena. Shan Nagendra describes the Colonia tournament as a fun time with his friends. He further states “I enjoyed working as a team to answer the questions about various topics and compare our knowledge base with other schools. The biggest difficulty was in the semi-final round when we had categories like Calculus and AP Bio and these were subjects that we didn’t know. But I will attend the competition again next year.” Unfortunately, the team did not advance into the final round. 

Mrs. Cindi Hannon, co-advisor, explains, “We had young teams this year with many of the participants new to Quiz Bowl, but I am confident that with more experience and knowledge growth, our teams will be a force at the tournament over the next couple of years.” Nico Giotis, Quiz Bowl’s other captain, echoes this sentiment: “After a hard-fought battle, we were unable to emerge victorious but we should be proud we got so far. Next year we’ll take the crown!” Even without the title, co-advisor, Mrs. Stephanie Cielusiniak sums up the afternoon and evening with these words, “Watching Wayne Valley’s Quiz Bowl team unite and bond from the bus ride to challenging themselves with subjects such as mathematics, science, literature, and history, creates a core high school memory for the kids and the teachers, one we love to foster each year.”

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