January 26, 2011
Cowley AEC team qualifies for national tournament in Florida
Taking part in the NAQT (National Academic Quiz Tournament) sectional championships Saturday in Concordia, Cowley College took two Academic Excellence Challenge teams to the competition. The Cowley “A” team finished in first place and qualified to compete at the national tournament in Panama City, FL on Feb 25-26, while the Cowley “B” team finished as the consolation champion.
The competition began with a round-robin format that resulted in the Cowley “A” team being seeded first. Despite strong rounds from newcomer Tommy Saia, the Cowley “B” team was seeded fifth. In the sectional format, the upper four teams were to compete for the championship. Cowley “B” was dominant in the lower tiered round-robin to finish as the consolation champion with three straight wins.
The Cowley “A” team, although seeded first, began the final round-robin schedule with a tough loss to a team from Cloud County Community College. Team member Marcus Whitson summed it up this way. "We just had a round of questions that none of us knew.”
The Cowley “A” team lost to Cloud “A” by a score of 160-100. Cowley was able to turn the tables in the next two rounds with dominating performances over Johnson County (250-160) and Dodge City (235-45). In the final match against Dodge City, Cowley “A” stormed back from a 60-55 halftime deficit to win 185-130. Sophomore Peter Onelio buzzed in four times to lead all competitors in the final round.
Whitson placed fourth individually by answering 26 tossup questions in the preliminary rounds. Saia, who scored 25 tossups in his first AEC competition, recently joined the team after graduating from Arkansas City High School at the semester.
Sophomore Aaron Brooks had a solid performance by answering 16 questions, while Carly Brock came through for Cowley “B” by correctly answering 11 questions.
Cowley “A” was comprised of Tyler Robbins, Stefny Cabrera, Whitson, Brooks, and Onelio. Cowley “B” consisted of Mike Lear, Kirsten Shephard, Caleb Griffen, Will Duren, Brock, and Saia.
AEC members will continue practicing daily in Galle-Johnson hall to prepare for the national tournament. The team, which earlier nabbed the top-two spots at the Kansas Academic Excellence Challenge Snow Bowl in Hutchinson, is coached by Greg Nichols.