Herald JournalHerald Journal, April 5, 2004

Quick calculation adds up to state trip for Knowledge Bowl team

By Lynda Jensen

Addition isn’t part of the usual Knowledge Bowl competition, but it saved the day for the team from Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Wednesday.

For the second time in school history, a team of five students will head to Brainerd for state competition at the end of this month, said advisor Rita Grimm.

But that isn’t what the team expected, after being told they came in at third place, behind Holdingford and St. John’s Prep. Only the top two teams continue to state competition, and HLWW was pegged at third.

Knowledge Bowl is a competition of intelligence and quick-wittedness, similar to Jeopardy, that requires an immediate answer to questions that range from history, sports and even general grammar, Grimm said.

The team was matched up with Cambridge for a third place tie-breaker round between the Class A and Class AA teams; sudden death.

HLWW answered three rounds of questions, first 45 questions, 10 questions, and then both teams faltered twice on two questions, with Cambridge picking up the win, Grimm said. on the third try

The HLWW team, full of seniors this year – Ben Doroff, who is a returning champion on the team that took the first trip to state in 2001, Sarah Arlien, Jason Menden, Mike Leifson, and Bret Butterfass – thought it was over.

“They said ‘See you next year,’ and we said “Not for us. We’re all seniors,” Doroff commented.

During the play, the students didn’t have a chance to see the scoreboard.

When they did, Menden did some quick math work and realized that the scores were added wrong.

“St. John’s Prep was given an extra two points,” Grimm said. This made them third place and not second place winners.

This meant that the sudden death round was actually meant for St. John’s and that HLWW was one of two teams bound for state, she said.

This means the team will compete once again Tuesday and Wednesday, April 20 and 21.

In state competition, they will be subjected to one written and five oral rounds for a total of 285 questions.

Grimm thought of forming a team at HLWW 14 years ago, and has been the advisor since then.

She got the idea at a workshop, and thought it sounded like a good activity to interest students that are not involved in sports, she said.

This win allows her to add to her box full of trophies from conference, region, and sub-region competitions since they started.

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