Educational Service District 105

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Ellensburg 2nd, Riverside Christian 5th at State Knowledge Bowl

Ellensburg 2nd place Ellensburg High School (pictured) took 2nd place for the second consecutive year among the 2A schools at the 35th annual Washington State High School Knowledge Bowl competition, which was held Saturday, March 18, at Arlington High School.

Meanwhile, Riverside Christian High School brought home the other trophy among south central Washington’s teams at the event by earning a 5th place trophy among the field of 1B division schools.    

Knowledge Bowl involves high school teams of up to six members in a contest of the students’ knowledge in a broad range of academic areas, with questions ranging in topics from math and science to history and language arts.  In the state 2A level and four of the other school size classifications, the state event involved fields of 18 teams that had all advanced from regional competitions that were held earlier this spring; the state tournament for 1B schools involved a field 12 teams.

The state tournament for each division began with a preliminary written round during which team members worked together for 45 minutes to solve a list of multiple-choice problems.  Teams then engaged in a series of four oral rounds of questions, with each team facing two other schools during each of those rounds.  Teams that finished in the top half of the field during the morning’s preliminary events advanced into the afternoon’s semifinal and championship round to vie for trophies.  State trophies were awarded for 1st through 6th place for the 1B schools, and for 1st through 8th place for schools in all of the other size classifications.

Ellensburg High School earned the 2nd place trophy among the 2A schools, equaling the school-high mark at state that the team accomplished in 2016.  The latest trophy is Ellensburg’s fifth one at the state Knowledge Bowl during the past six years, and has involved a run for the school that has included 5th place in 2015, 8th place in 2014, and 4th place in 2012.  Ellensburg’s teams have qualified for the state competition for all 12 years that the school has been involved regionally in the Knowledge Bowl program.  At the March 18 state event, Ellensburg faced Charles Wright High School (Tacoma) and Pullman High School in the championship oral round after earning the top score among the five other teams Ellensburg competed against in the school’s semi-final bracket.  Ellensburg scored 15 points in the 2A championship oral round, just one behind state winner Charles Wright and well ahead of third place Pullman, which collected 6 points.  The team's faculty coach this year was Marco Bicchieri.

Riverside Christian School of Yakima came away with 5th place from a field of 12 teams at the State 1B division tournament.  This year’s award was the 13th state Knowledge Bowl trophy for the school, which has advanced to state for all 14 years that the Knowledge Bowl program has been made available to south central Washington’s schools.  (Riverside Christian missed out on a state placement only in 2013.)  Competing in the consolation bracket in the final oral round, Riverside Christian scored 8 points against 4th place Odessa (with 10 points) and just ahead of 6th place Almira-Coulee-Hartline (with 7 points).  The top three finishers in the state 1B competition were   Riverside Christian then defeated West Sound Academy in the semifinal oral round, 18-14, to advance into the championship bracket.  At the championship oral round, Wilber won the title by scoring 12 points, Pope John Paul II came in second with 10, and Riverside Christian earned its third-place award with 8 points.  Riverside Christian's faculty coach this year was Mike Emmans. 

Schools qualified for the Washington State Knowledge Bowl during regional meets that were held in February.  Six other teams from the region participated at the March 18 statewide event in Arlington, but did not advance beyond Saturday morning’s preliminary rounds.  The other local area teams competing at state this year were:  Easton (2B, opting up from 1B and making its second trip to state in three years), Cle Elum-Roslyn (1A, and making its second consecutive appearance at state), Zillah (1A, and making its third trip to state during the three years that the program has existed at its high school), Selah (2A, and making its fourth straight trip to state), West Valley (opting up to the 4A division, and competing at state for all 14 years that the program has been available in the south central Washington region), and Yakima’s Davis High school (4A, and competing at state for the second time in three years).