by Dennis Dalman – email@example.com
A Sartell High School team of five students is at Cragun’s Resort near Brainerd this week, vying for the state Knowledge Bowl championship.
As of press time Wednesday, the team was expected to compete Thursday and Friday, April 11 and 12. Readers can check the results of the state meet in the April 19 edition of the Newsleader.
The team and its coach left together for the meet Thursday morning in a school van.
The five competitors are Bailey Evenson, senior; Curt Koopmeiners, junior; Gopi Ramanathan, ninth-grader; Quinn Skoog, junior; and Laura Somppi, senior. Those students won Knowledge Bowl competitions at the sub-region and regional levels, which qualified them for the state tournament.
Their coach is Luke Walker, who teaches 9th-grade physical science and forensic science at Sartell High School. This is his second year as Knowledge Bowl coach.
“They’re great kids,” Walker said before leaving for Brainerd. “They’re fun to be around; they’re responsible; and they’re interested in competing as well as in being knowledgeable.”
In recent months, the team members and Walker did a lot of practicing, using boxes of questions from previous Knowledge Bowl competitions. The team also participated in a pre-state-competition “scrimmage” last week at St. John’s University.
This is the third year Evenson and Somppi have been in state competition. As part of the previous teams, they took ninth place in those two state events. Koopmeiners, Ramanathan and Skoog are newer members of the team.
The state competition involves 60 written questions for the teams on Thursday, and on Friday there are five oral rounds, with 45 questions each. Based on results of the Thursday written tests, the teams are ranked and then compete with others in various rooms at the resort. Then, according to those results, they are re-ranked as competition progresses.
In competition this year are 24 teams in the large-school division, one of which is Sartell; and there are 24 teams competing in the small-school division.
The Sartell Knowledge Bowl team eked out St. Cloud Tech for first place in the Class AA Knowledge Bowl during the regional tournament held recently at Celebration Lutheran Church to earn a chance for the state championship. Sartell earned 134.5 points, just 1.5 points ahead of the St. Cloud Tech team’s 133 points. In the Class A divsion, the top winner was the St. John’s Prep School team with 112.5 points, followed by Albany with 104.