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Charlo wins back to back academic bowl competitions

RONAN – In a show of academic smarts, middle school students participating in the Lake County Academic Bowl last week answered complicated questions within seconds. 

Dixon, Polson, Mission, Charlo and Ronan participated in a series of academic challenges throughout the year before the final round at the Ronan event center. Dixon had some scheduling issues and couldn’t make it to the final competition. 

Ahni Umphrey, 13, represented Mission Middle School. She said the competition is a lot like the television game show Jeopardy, but there is a long hour and a half written test before students go on stage to compete. Each school answers a question as a team instead of having one contestant like the show. 

Within their school teams, students pressed buzzers to be the first to give the most correct answers to dozens of questions concerning things like the location of the highest and lowest points in the United States, what book Hemingway received a Pulitzer for, Newton’s law of motion, and a complicated question about the percentage of colored marbles in a jar.   

Academic Bowl Coach Bill Becker said the competition was close this year with Charlo, Ronan and Polson coming within 100 points of each other. He said the bowl gives students a chance to practice their memory skills and do an extra curricular activity other than sports. 

Charlo teacher Mindy Cox said students focus on things like Roman numerals, Montana history, science, and authors while practicing for the event.

“If you put five minds together, one of them should be able to come up with the answer, so one person doesn’t have to know everything,” she said.

After adding up the points, Charlo came in first this year as the Lake County Academic Bowl champion. They were given a trophy and stopped for ice cream on the way home. 

Charlo’s Coyle Nagy, 14, said his school won last year, but he wasn’t sure if they would win again this year. “It was exciting when we won,” he said.

This year’s season totals: Charlo had 1,998 points; Ronan had 1,922; Polson ended with 1,923; Mission had 1,521; and Dixon put in 972 without the last meet.

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