Beavercreek academic team wins sixth state title, heads to nationals

Beavercreek's 2022 varsity academic team. From left to right: Alan Xie, Arunn Sankar, Shourjo Ganguli and Anna Kuang. CONTRIBUTED

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Beavercreek's 2022 varsity academic team. From left to right: Alan Xie, Arunn Sankar, Shourjo Ganguli and Anna Kuang. CONTRIBUTED

The Beavercreek High School varsity academic team will get a chance to reclaim its Quiz Bowl national title this weekend after winning the state championship earlier this month.

Seniors Alan Xie, Arunn Sankar and Shourjo Ganguli, and sophomore Anna Kuang competed against 17 Ohio teams at Northmont High School, securing the team’s sixth consecutive state championship.

“This is an impressive achievement that spans one coach, three team captains and 16 varsity student athletes,” coach Ellen Spence said of the team’s winning streak.

Quiz Bowl questions span a variety of topics including literature, history, current events, science, sports, fine arts and pop culture. Students compete by being the first to buzz in with the answer, often before the question is read completely.

The National Academic Quiz Tournaments’ Quiz Bowl showcases quick thinking and breadth of knowledge in a fast-paced competition. Students compete in teams of four, but teammates do not have a chance to confer with each other as the questions are being fired off.

Beavercreek’s team practices once weekly throughout the school year using flash cards, study lists and online resources to study past tournament questions. Individual team members focus on specific topics to master: Xie specializes in science and math, Sankar in history, Ganguli in literature and Kuang in fine arts and religion. It also helps that the students pay attention in class and love to learn, Spence said.

Locally, Beavercreek went undefeated in the 2021-22 Greater Western Ohio Conference season, but, according to Spence, the team found its greatest challenge in Saturday tournaments against Solon High School.

“Winning the state championship was a great feeling this year, especially with how competitive this season has been in Ohio between ourselves and Cleveland’s Solon,” Ganguli said. Solon placed second in the state tournament. Students from The Miami Valley School took fourth place.

The team won its first national Quiz Bowl championship at the 2019 tournament. The 2020 national tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Beavercreek teams competed at the national level in 2021 and tied for 31st place.

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2022 NAQT Ohio State Championship trophy awarded to the Beavercreek varsity academic team. CONTRIBUTED

2022 NAQT Ohio State Championship trophy awarded to the Beavercreek varsity academic team. CONTRIBUTED

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2022 NAQT Ohio State Championship trophy awarded to the Beavercreek varsity academic team. CONTRIBUTED

NAQT’s 2022 High School National Championship will begin Friday in Atlanta and run through Sunday. Beavercreek will also compete at the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence’s National Scholastic Championship June 11-12 in Rosemont, Ill.

With three of the members graduating, Ganguli said the team is looking forward to continuing its winning streak and replicating the success of past Beavercreek varsity academic teams.

“We hope to end our time together as part of the quiz bowl program on a high note with great performances at both nationals, while, as always, having fun.”

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