Friday, April 9, 2010

Knowledge Bowl Team Takes State

For the first time in ten years, Camas High School was not the host site of the Knowledge Bowl State Championship. So it is a bit ironic that they not only qualified two teams to state for the first time ever, but also that one of the teams earned the first CHS state championship in Knowledge Bowl.
“It was fun to travel with the team to Richland, and it was especially nice for me to not be trying to run the meet while my kids were competing,” commented Dale Croswell, Knowledge Bowl coach for the last 25 years.

Camas Varsity #1 -- consisting of senior Devynne Barret, juniors Jacob Freedman, Connor Sullivan, and Keira Alkema, and sophomores James Marsh and William Sarchet -- competed very well at state, finishing in 11th place out of 18 teams, but falling short of the top 9 which would have advanced them to the final rounds.

Camas Varsity #2 -- consisting of juniors Ryan Gompertz, Chris Emmet, Chris Grote, Nicholas Lim, and Alec Maier -- won their preliminary division and advanced to the Semi-Final and Championship rounds, a first ever for a Camas HS Knowledge Bowl team.

At the end of their Semi-Final Oral Round, the team was tied with North Thurston, forcing a tie-breaker session. They were still tied at the end of the first tie-breaker set, and the end of the next tie-breaker found the two teams tied even still. However, the Camas team decided to officially challenge one of the questions in which their answer had been ruled incorrect. Their challenge was accepted and their point was granted, which earned them the right to advance to the championship oral round.

In the Championship Oral Round, three very good teams -- Camas, Charles Wright Academy, and Port Angeles -- were engaged in a close match to determine 1st, 2nd, and 3rd final places. At question 40 out of 50, the teams were all tied up at 10 points apiece. By question 45, Port Angeles had forged ahead, but the Camas team was able to tie it up with one question remaining. As the last question was read aloud by the reader/judge, a moment came when the teams seemed to recognize the answer all at once, and they buzzed in. The Camas team got in first, discussed it, offered their correct answer, and won the state championship.

“I have been coaching Knowledge Bowl at Camas HS since 1986, and the state coordinator since 1999. This is the first time I can recall that both the 4A state championship (Skyview HS) and the 3A state championship (Camas HS) were earned by teams from Clark County in the same year,” remarked Croswell. “That is fantastic, and speaks to the strength of the schools and knowledge bowl teams in our area.”