Quiz Bowl

Some members of the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Quiz Bowl team.

On the weekend of May 24, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology joined 331 of the top high school quiz bowl teams at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis for the 2019 High School National Championship Tournament to determine which team was the best.

Quiz bowl is a competitive, academic, interscholastic activity for teams of four students. Quiz bowl teams use buzzers to answer questions about science, math, history, literature, mythology, geography, social science, current events, sports, and popular culture. The matches feature a blend of individual competition and team collaboration, since no individual player is likely to be an expert in all subject areas. Participation in quiz bowl both reinforces lessons from the classroom and encourages players to develop new intellectual interests.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology sent five teams to the 2019 HSNCT. The A team was captained by Kevin Wang and Fred Zhang, who were joined by James Kuang, Benjamin Xu, and Julia Zhou. The B team consisted of Prithvi Nathan, Sohom Paul, William Wang, and Ryan Xu. The C team consisted of Sathya Gnanakumar, Anuraag Kaashyap, Vishal Kanigicherla, Karthik Prasad, and Kevin Zhang. The D team consisted of Stefan Calin, Walker Haynes, Vance Kreider, Siddharth Krishnakumar, Joshua Lian, and Alan Qi. The E team consisted of Sean Choi, William Graf, Pratyush Jaishanker, Elliot Lee, Diego Valencia, and Joshua Zhang. The teams were coached by John Laffey and Jennifer Seavey.

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech entered five of the 15 Virginia teams competing at the national championship.

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech A began the preliminary rounds with a five-game winning streak, in which they defeated Soddy Daisy from Tennessee; University School from Hunting Valley, Ohio; Raleigh Charter from North Carolina; Richard Montgomery B from Rockville, Maryland; and Montgomery Blair A from Silver Spring, Maryland. They finished the preliminary rounds with a 9-1 record, which qualified them for the playoffs. Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech B began the preliminary rounds with a three-game winning streak, in which they defeated Belvidere from Illinois, Aurora from Ohio, and State College A from Pennsylvania. They finished the preliminary rounds with a 7-3 record, which qualified them for the playoffs. Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech C finished the preliminary rounds with a 7-3 record, which qualified them for the playoffs. Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech D finished the preliminary rounds with a 6-4 record, which qualified them for the playoffs. Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech E finished the preliminary rounds with a 5-5 record.

The B team played Langley from near home in round 6, defeating them, 550-140.

There were some tense moments. The A team defeated Richard Montgomery A from Rockville, Maryland by the narrow margin of 400-380 during round 15 and suffered a heartbreakingly narrow loss to Adlai E. Stevenson A from Lincolnshire, Illinois, 360-340 during round 28. The B team defeated State College A from Pennsylvania by the narrow margin of 325-315 during round 3. The C team defeated Centennial A from Ellicott City, Maryland by the narrow margin of 290-270 during round 20. The D team defeated Raleigh Charter from North Carolina by the narrow margin of 370-345 during round 11 and defeated Midtown Classical from Tallahassee, Florida 230-205 during round 20. The E team suffered a heartbreakingly narrow loss to Irondale from New Brighton, Minnesota, 185-175 during round 11.

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech A's shot at the title ended when they lost to Adlai E. Stevenson A from Lincolnshire, Illinois in round 28.

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech B was on the brink of elimination when they defeated Lexington A from Massachusetts in round 23 to stay alive. Unfortunately, they lost to Northview A from Johns Creek, Georgia, ending their shot at the title.

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech C was on the brink of elimination when they defeated Scripps Ranch from San Diego, California in round 23 to stay alive. Unfortunately, they lost to Adlai E. Stevenson A from Lincolnshire, Illinois, ending their shot at the title.

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech D had a very challenging path to the playoffs. They were on the brink of elimination when they defeated Okemos from Michigan and Midtown Classical from Tallahassee, Florida in succession to stay alive. Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech D's shot at the title ended when they lost to East Chapel Hill from North Carolina in round 21.

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech E spent four games on the brink of elimination. They defeated Soddy Daisy from Tennessee, Davis B from California, and Cupertino Scholars B from California before falling to Lincoln from Tallahassee, Florida, ending their shot at the playoffs.

Fred Zhang of the A team was honored as an All-Star for correctly answering 83 tossup questions -- 35 of them for "power," that is, so early as to earn extra points -- in the preliminary rounds.

The A team finished in fifth place, the best performance by any team from Virginia at the 2019 High School National Championship Tournament. The B team finished in 31st place; The C team finished in 31st place; The D team finished in 97th place.

The tournament champion was Beavercreek High School of Beavercreek, Ohio.

The 2019 High School National Championship Tournament's field featured 336 teams from 38 states, the District of Columbia, and South Korea.

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