Team secures five-point win over Blake to advance to Super Bowl
Blair's It's Academic team clinched first place in the D.C. Metropolitan Regional Championship held Saturday morning at NBC studios in Washington, D.C., winning a plaque, trophy and $5,000 scholarship for the school, according to sponsor James Schafer. Senior and captain Elizabeth So, senior Ethan Wang and junior Jeremy Fallick competed against three-person teams from Blake and Holton-Arms High Schools to win with 505 points and advance to the Super Bowl, where they lost to Baltimore Metropolitan Regional Champion Centennial High School.
So was thrilled with Blair's performance in the regional final. "It felt really good to win," she said. "It was shocking actually; we were down in the last round and had to buzz in quickly for all the questions."
Blair only gained an edge over its opponents in the last round, narrowly defeating the second-place Blake team, which finished the competition with 500 points. Holton-Arms came in third place with 435 points. "We played smart and had no incorrect answers in the final round, which gave us a chance to come back and win," Schafer said. "It was a great win over two very good teams."
Schafer attributed the team's success to hard work and the format of the competition, which requires participants from each of the three teams to buzz in when they have an answer. "It's one of our stronger formats…There's an element of speed involved," he said. "It's Academic is also on TV and is more well-known, so there's an element of being seen that puts more emphasis on this competition."
Blair advanced to the regional finals after facing teams from a field of 81 high schools in Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in earlier competitions. The team qualified for the Super Bowl, a competition between regional finalists from Washington, D.C., Central Virginia and Baltimore, after winning the D.C. regional finals.
Blair received a trophy and $750 for placing second in the Super Bowl. Centennial took first place with 555 points, beating Blair's 495 points and Charlottesville's 390 points.
Fallick expressed frustration with Blair's second-place finish in the Super Bowl. "It was a bit of a disappointment," he said. "We had had lots of success up to that point. A win would have been a great end to the season."
Despite losing to Centennial, Schafer considers the season a success. "The team worked hard all year," he said. "At all the different competitions, we always finished towards the top."
It's Academic, founded in 1961, features five rounds that follow slightly different guidelines. Rounds one, three and five are competitive, meaning that any team can buzz in to answer a question. Rounds two and four and noncompetitive.
Lauren Kestner. Lauren Kestner loves Trader Joe's chocolates, cheesy television soap operas, summer trips to Lake Anna, coffee ice cream from Coldstone Creamery, hikes at Northwest Branch and shopping at Heritage. Playing soccer for Blair or her MSC club team and running at the gym consumes much ... More »