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Press Release



April 6, 2011

Cowley AEC team wins regional; Saia nabs top individual finish


Placing three individuals among the top-five finishers, Cowley College’s Academic Excellence Challenge team continued its string of strong performances by winning the regional competition held Saturday in Iola.

Cowley went 5-0 at the six-team competition and finished 550 points in front of second place Coffeyville Community College.

“We had an excellent outing as demonstrated by our scores,” Greg Nichols, AEC sponsor said. “This group is very dedicated to AEC, possibly the most dedicated to preparing that we have had in some time.”

With Cowley College freshman Tommy Saia finishing as the top individual scorer at the competition and teammates Marcus Whitson and Peter Onelio placing second and fifth, respectively, Nichols believes the competition within their own team is fierce. 

Saia, who graduated from Arkansas City High School at the end of the first semester, finished the day with an eye-popping 270 points.

“Tommy Saia was incredible throughout,” Nichols said.

Whitson was not far behind as he finished in a tie for second with Coffeyville’s Jams Deckard with 240 points and answered 80 points in toss-ups.

“Marcus continues to anchor our team with solid performances,” Nichols said.

Onelio added another 120 points while playing one fewer round. While, Will Duren and Carly Brock filled in for much needed points for three rounds. 

“We have five members who are great at the game and are competing with each other at a high level,” Nichols said. “We look forward to competing April 29-30 at the State AEC competition in Salina, KS.”

During the 2010-2011 academic year, the Cowley AEC team has put together an impressive list of accomplishments. The Cowley AEC teams performed one of the most dominating  tournaments in recent history by nabbing the top-two spots at the Kansas Academic Excellence Challenge Snow Bowl held in December.

They Cowley “A” team followed up that performance by finishing first in the National Academic Quiz Tournament in February, while the Cowley “B” team finished as the consolation champion.

Results from Saturday’s Regional in Iola:
(1) Cowley, 1,750 points; (2) Coffeyville, 1,200 points; (3) Johnson County, 650 points; (4) Neosho County, 590 points; (5) Allen County, 510 points; (6) Kansas City, 340 points.