Quiz Bowl Team Exceeds Expectations at its First National Tournament

The St. Thomas Academic Quiz Bowl team took part in its first Intercollegiate Championship Tournament April 8-10 in Chicago. The competition was the team’s first appearance at the ICT since UST chartered the club in September 2008. Going 7-6 for the day, the Tommies outperformed expectations to finish 17th in a field of 32 teams in the division.

Consisting of graduating seniors James Heaney and Mark Schreck, sophomore Luke LoPresto, and freshmen Jack Reynolds and Losha Ndemeno-Tegomoh, the team competed in 14 rounds of quizzing against teams from across the country, including Princeton, Harvard, MIT, the University of Maryland and the University of Chicago. The Tommies defeated Maryland and Chicago teams head-to-head and ultimately tied Harvard in the overall standings.

Questions covered an enormous range of subjects, with St. Thomas players acing questions on Atlantis, the African nation of Chad, the SQL database programming language, painter Marc Chagall, Rebecca Black’s anti-hit “Friday,” and many others.

Heaney placed 22nd individually in a field of 129 Division II players. Ndemeno-Tegomoh placed 41st. Senior Kevin O’Neill accompanied the team to help keep score and staff the tournament.

The St. Thomas varsity Quiz Bowl team qualified for the ICT in February when its performance at the north sectional tournament earned it a spot on the standby list for the national tournament. Once it was offered a berth at the tournament, St. Thomas was expected to finish at the bottom of the standings. The team’s strong performance this year means that next year will be an even greater challenge as St. Thomas loses its eligibility for the Division II Quiz Bowl and will instead compete in the elite Division I bracket.

Although the ICT was the final tournament of the 2010-11 season, the Quiz Bowl will continue its weekly practices until the start of finals week. Students, faculty, staff and others who enjoy trivia are invited to join the team at 11:45 a.m. Tuesdays in Room 303, Aquinas Hall.