UMBC Quiz Bowl Team Wins National TournamentDecember 22, 1997 - The UMBC Quiz Bowl Team recently took first place in the Three Rivers Invitational at the University of Pittsburgh, defeating teams from Case Western Reserve University, the University of Michigan, and Penn State. In earlier tournaments, the UMBC squad defeated teams from Princeton, Yale, Johns Hopkins, MIT, and Cornell. During Quiz Bowl, two teams compete head-to-head to answer academic questions in rounds, following a format similar to that of the televised high school-based competition, "It's Academic."
"UMBC is aggressively establishing itself as an up-and-coming team," says the National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT) organization. At the University of Pittsburgh, UMBC's winning team included sophomores Nick Fry, Chris Truffer, and Stan Ward, and freshman Rebecca Lennen. "Players from schools that have been around for years say UMBC is going to be a powerhouse," says Jonathan Lazar, chair of the UMBC Quiz Bowl committee and a Ph.D. student.
Earlier this year, the team received its first bid to participate in the NAQT Nationals at the University of Pennsylvania, where Nick Fry's average individual score placed him among the top 21 Quiz Bowl players in the nation.
UMBC's team also is active in community outreach and student recruitment. The team created the "Retriever Challenge" to provide scholarships for area high school students who show exceptional competitive ability. Each year, students from 30 local high school "It's Academic" teams compete to win partial four-year scholarships to UMBC. The University is one of only two in the nation known to offer Quiz Bowl scholarships.
In 1998, the team will participate in both a regional competition at George Washington University and the NAQT Regional Championships, where it hopes to earn another bid to compete in the NAQT Nationals.
"We are very proud of UMBC's Quiz Bowl Team, which, like so many of our successful student teams and clubs, is gaining national recognition. Our students are outstanding ambassadors for UMBC."
- President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III
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