by Cori Hilsgen
St. John’s Prep Knowledge Bowl Team 1 finished second at the state meet held in April at Cragun’s Resort by Brainerd. Team 2 tied for fifth place.
Forty-eight teams, in two divisions of 24 each, out of more than 900 teams from across the state competed at the meet.
Team 1 participants included Marisa Gaetz, Nick Haeg, Sam Rogers, Justin Terhaar and Amelia Broman. All are juniors except Broman, who is a sophomore.
Team 2 participants included Eric Magaw, Hannah Moen, Becky O’Neil, Tom Skahen and Max Seymour. All are seniors except Seymour, who is a sophomore.
Knowledge bowl teams compete in both oral and written rounds of academic questions. Thursday’s activities included the written round and banquet and Friday’s activities included the oral rounds.
Coach Charles Miller said the rivalry between SJP and Glencoe-Silver Lake had been heating up lately, with one of the teams finishing as Division A state champions seven out of the last 10 years.
“Recently, we’ve been battling each other head-to-head for the top spot, with GSL edging us out for first by eight points in 2013 and us topping them by eight in 2014,” Miller said. “This year, GSL was bringing three teams to do brain-battle with our two teams, and it lived up to the hype.”
He said the meet started in a deadlock between the top teams from GSL and SJP in room one, and the two teams traded answers through several tough rounds.
Miller said GSL got an early lead with round three, but SJP bounced back.
Team 2 with seniors and one sophomore made their way up from a slow start, moving up a room each round, from room five to room one.
“In the final round, it was two SJP teams against the GSL team in room one, and GSL had the lead,” Miller said. “Both teams fought hard and SJP Team 1 won the room by three points, but it wasn’t quite enough, finishing in second by one question.”
Miller said even though neither team was particularly satisfied with being so close to higher finishes, they both acknowledged they had done great work and should be proud of what they had accomplished.
GSL competed in three different regions during the regular season and was undefeated. SJP joins Chaska as the only schools to place two teams in the top five in the last 20 years.
Miller said they are already looking forward to trying to take back the crown in 2016.
“The coaches couldn’t be more proud of these fine young men and women,” Miller said. “We will miss the seniors dearly next year, and wish them the best as they move on to new tests of their vast knowledge.”