December 10, 2010

Cowley AEC teams blow away the competition


AEC TeamsSelecting two teams to compete at the annual Kansas Academic Excellence Challenge Snow Bowl this past Saturday at Hutchinson Community College, the Cowley College AEC teams performed one of the most dominating  tournaments in recent history by nabbing the top-two spots at the 11-team tournament.

Cowley had teams comprised of Team Black (Marcus Whitson, Tyler Robbins, Carly Brock, Mike Lear) and Team Orange (Aaron Brooks, Peter Onelio, Stefny Cabrera, Kirsten Shephard). Each team had outstanding performances completing pool play undefeated.

The bracket play commenced after lunch with each team seeded No. 1 on their side of the bracket. That led to a scintillating match up for the team title between the Cowley Black and the Cowley Orange. The teams battled back and forth to an eventual 180-180 tie with one last question to decide the tournament champion. Aaron Brooks buzzed in to just beat out members of his team and his Cowley foes to answer the final toss up question. With the bonus accompanying the question, Cowley Orange took the championship with a final round defeat of Cowley Black 210-180.

In his six years as coach of the Cowley AEC team, Greg Nichols said no school has placed two teams in the championship at any National Academic Quiz Tournament.

“This team is great to work with,” Nichols said. “They are competitive and challenge each other sometimes more than the other teams.”

Cowley’s previous best finish at the Snow Bowl came when the team placed third in 2009 and second in 2006.

Cowley got strong performances from Brooks, a sophomore from Udall, and Whitson, a sophomore from Wellington, as they placed second and third individually at the competition. Brooks and Whitson each achieved a high-round total of 70 points at the tournament. Their high round matched the overall individual high round of the first place individual Brian Baetz from Cloud County Community College.

“They typically anchor their team and provide experience and leadership in the role of captain,” Nichols said. “Of course there are great support members who also contribute with some outstanding individual efforts.” 

Cowley sophomore Peter Onelio played consistently throughout and came through with a big round of 50 points against Neosho County Community College. While, fellow sophomore Stefny Cabrera had some amazing rounds with a final round of 50 points in tossups to help her team win the competition. 

“Her performance in the finals was the best overall of that round where both Cowley teams were competing,” Nichols said.

Team standings: (1) Cowley Orange; (2) Cowley Black; (3) Garden City; (4) Colby; (5) Dodge City; (6) Coffeyville; (7) Neosho County; (8) Cloud County A; (9) Cloud County B; (10) Neosho County; (11) Pratt.