The Upper School Academic A- and B-Teams placed first and third respectively at the Small School National Championship (Open Division) hosted by National Academic Quiz Tournaments. This is the second year in a row that St. Mark’s has won the national title. The A-Team of Miki Ghosh ’22, Tomek Marczewski ’22, Aditya Shivaswamy ’24, Ethan Bosita ’24, and the B Team of Isaac Song ’22, Arnav Lahoti ’24, Will Bowers ’24, and Vardhan Agnihotri ’24, went head-to-head with top teams from across the nation, including each other, over the weekend of April 23.
“To win a national championship two years in a row is a testament to the strength of our program and the dedication of our students,” said Paul Mlakar, St. Mark’s math teacher and Quiz Bowl coach. “To finish in first and third place this year was very special for our guys.”
In Quiz Bowl, teams compete head-to-head to answer questions from all areas of knowledge, including history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, popular culture, sports, and more.
In preparation for competitions, Miki Ghosh said, “Some people make flashcards because certain things will come up repeatedly, while others watch documentaries or read through mountains of Wikipedia articles. Everyone really has their own personal method of what works best for them. When we practice as a team, we make fair teams and play practice matches against each other.”
The A-Team went undefeated both Saturday and Sunday, clearing the field and locking up at least a second-place finish. Their only loss of the weekend was to fellow Marksmen, the St. Mark’s B-Team. In the semifinal match of the double-elimination tournament, the A-Team lost the one-game advantage they would have taken into the final round. The B-Team lost to BASIS Independent McLean in the next match, but the St. Mark’s A-Team came back to beat the BASIS team in a winner-take-all final.
“It was great to see all of the Marksmen interact after the B-Team beat the A-Team in the semifinals,” Mr. Mlakar said. “While it was a setback for the A-Team, they were genuinely happy and excited for each other. They maintained a good balance between playing a competitive game and keeping it fun, and it was that drive and dedication that lead to back-to-back national championships.”
This is St. Mark’s third national title, the others occurring in 2017 and 2021. The boys most recently took 3rd place at the Texas State Championship on April 30, which was open to all Texas schools.