The Upper School Academic Team capped off a busy October with several successful finishes at national Quiz Bowl competitions. Marksmen went head-to-head with students across the country, answering questions from all areas of knowledge, including history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, popular culture, sports, and more. On October 3, Ned Tagtmeier ’21, Aditya Shivaswamy ’24, Ethan Bosita ’24, and Vardhan Agnihotri ’24 competed in a Division II college tournament. Their competition included teams from UT-Austin, Grinnell College, Iowa State, Washington University-St. Louis, and UT-Southwestern. After a long day of competition with the final match stretching into Sunday, the St. Mark’s team finished in first place, winning the final match by just one question.
In preparation, Ned focused heavily on literature knowledge, saying “I made a few thousand flashcards about various works of literature, and supplemented that with reading the occasional short story or poem. For example, I recited every Allen Ginsberg poem I could find, out loud as fast as I could to help memorize it.”
The following weekend, five St. Mark’s teams competed in the Texas Kickoff Classic, going up against more than 64 teams from across the state. St. Mark’s saw two teams go undefeated in the preliminary rounds and three teams advance to the playoffs. The all-freshmen team, consisting of Aditya Shivaswamy ’24, Ethan Bosita ’24, Vardhan Agnihotri ’24, and Arnav Lahoti ’24 advanced all the way to the quarterfinals. Another team consisting of Ned Tagtmeier ’21, Aayush Goodapaty ’21, Han Zhang ’21, and Miki Ghosh ’22 made it to the finals, ultimately earning second place.
“While we didn’t bring home the championship trophy, it was a great day for the St. Mark’s Quiz Bowl,” said Paul Mlakar, St. Mark’s math teacher and Quiz Bowl coach.
On October 17, Ned, Aditya, Ethan, and Vardhan once again competed virtually in an event in Plano that attracted some of the top teams from around the country. After another long day of competition, their team made it to the championship match, finishing in second place.
“I think our success in Quiz Bowl goes to show that St. Mark’s is a community of scholars with diverse interests who are able to work with other people,” Ned stated.
The Upper School Academic Team will compete next on November 7 in another statewide event.