The Upper School Academic Team proved worthy of their #1 seed by going undefeated to win the Small School National Championship Tournament (Open Division) hosted by National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT). The team of Aditya Shivaswamy ’24, Ned Tagtmeier ’21, Aayush Goodapaty ’21, and Miki Ghosh ’22 went head-to-head with top teams from across the nation over the weekend of April 24.
“This team worked extremely hard and have spent hundreds of hours studying, playing protobowl, and preparing for quiz bowl tournaments,” said Paul Mlakar, St. Mark’s math teacher and Quiz Bowl coach.
Teams had to answer questions from all areas of knowledge, including history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, mythology, sports, and more.
“I primarily study literature, religion, mythology, philosophy, and social science,” Ned said. “Aayush studies history, geography, and current events, Aditya studies fine arts, and Miki and I split science. This division of labor helps us cover everything in depth.”
In one of their earlier tournament games, the team scored 790 out of 900 possible points, earning the third-highest score in NAQT history. In the championship match, the team faced Miami Valley of Ohio. The lead changed several times during the bout, but the Lions ultimately claimed the title with a score of 385-295.
“It is important to recognize all our teams that came before, too,” Mr. Mlakar said. “All of those guys pushed and motivated the next generation of players to work harder and strive for more.”
This is St. Mark’s second national title, the other occurring in 2017. Two other St. Mark’s teams placed in the top 20. The championship team will next compete in the High School National Championship, open to all schools across the country over Memorial Day weekend.