Academic Team Ranks Nationally

The St. Mark’s Upper School Academic Team finished its year on a hot streak, appearing multiple times on the national stage. The team secured a second-place finish at the High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT) in Atlanta, Georgia, and a third-place spot at the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence (PACE) National Championship in Washington, D.C.  
The St. Mark’s team, composed of five standout seniors—Aditya Shivaswamy ’24, Ethan Bosita ’24, Sohum Sukhatankar ’24, Arnav Lahoti ’24, and Vardhan Agnihotri ’24—achieved the School’s best-ever performance at HSNCT.  
Starting strong with eight wins in their first ten games, the boys powered through tough playoff rounds to reach the finals. Although they fell to the defending champions, Barrington, the team carried their momentum into the PACE tournament in Washington, D.C. Despite initial setbacks, they fought their way to a third-place finish, showcasing their incredible teamwork and depth of knowledge across various subjects.
“PACE only invites 72 teams, and the questions are a lot harder than most other high school tournaments,” coach and math teacher Paul Mlakar said. “It's a challenging tournament because the format is different. They group the 72 teams into 12 pods of six, and you do a round robin, and you've got to finish in the top two of your pod to advance." 
The Lions struggled early in the new format, losing two of their round-robin matches. However, other results in their pod vaulted them to the top flight. They took full advantage of the opportunity, winning enough playoff games to advance to the Super Eight finals, where they finished third overall.  
Quiz Bowl teams typically include four players, but Mlakar brought five seniors who all contributed unique knowledge to the team: Agnihotri focused on science; Bosita on history and government; Lahoti on literature and mythology; and Sukhatankar on literature and science. Shivaswamy was the team’s most well-rounded player and possesses some of the best lifetime statistics in St. Mark’s history. 
“They make such a good team,” Mlakar said. “If someone's having a down match, the other guys help carry the team.” 
This impressive run caps off a memorable season that also saw them triumph at the Texas State Championship and the Small School National Championship
“It was really special because we all put a lot of work in, we all bought into the idea of winning as a team, and eventually we all started valuing team wins over any individual stat line,” Agnihotri said. “We obviously did really well together, and the tournaments meant a lot to cap off seven years of competing together.” 

St. Mark’s School of Texas

10600 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75230

About Us

St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.

St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.