Quiz Bowl

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Gehlen Quiz Bowl team rocks nationals

Article from Le Mars Sentinel http://www.lemarssentinel.com/story/2204039.html

Thursday, June 11, 2015
By Adam Curry

LE MARS -- After competing at the National Academic Championship, June 6-8, the Gehlen Catholic Quiz Bowl team returned home with wins in two categories.

"We were Rookie of the Year, which means we made it the farthest out of all of the teams that that was their first year at the tournament," said David Puhl, graduated senior and team captain.

The team's recognition extends beyond its promise as rookies.

Gehlen Quiz Bowl members also earned a championship trophy based on their school size and performance.

"We won Small School of the Year, or Small School Champion," said Puhl.

"Small Schools" are those schools competing at nationals with an enrollment of 500 or fewer students in grades 10-12 and a non-selective admissions policy, according to a press release.

Gehlen's Quiz Bowl team members who competed at the championship included Puhl, Nathan Klein, Jozef Lamfers, Drew Dickman, Aaron Stoll and Megan Kellen.

They competed at the National Academic Champion, or NAC, site, in Chicago, Ill., one of three locations in the country.

At each site, approximately 100 teams competed. In Chicago, 32 teams were Varsity.

Gehlen's team won seven of their nine matches, which included six prelims and three playoff matches.

Mike Meyer, Gehlen's Quiz Bowl team moderator, said students' success at the NAC came with unexpected emotions.

"We went in not knowing what to expect, and we were pleasantly surprised," said Meyer.

The Gehlen team -- which also won the locally televised 2015 Morningside College Quiz Bowl Tournament -- didn't always have smooth sailing to its Chicago victories.

After winning the first three matches, Gehlen had its first loss to Houston, Texas.

Fortunately for the team, students didn't need a perfect record to advance to playoffs.

"Out of the 32 teams, in order to qualify for the Monday competition, you had to be 6-0, 5-1, or 4-2," said Laurie Kellen, chaperone and substitute moderator.

With its 5-1 record, the Gehlen team qualified as one of 12 teams competing in playoff rounds Monday, she said.

Early on in its three playoff matches, Gehlen contended with a speed bump.

"In the first round of the playoffs, we were playing a team that had finished second the year before that," Puhl explained.

Also, he said, there are four rounds, and after the second one the team was "down by 50 points, which is a pretty sizable margin."

Stoll, a graduated senior on the team, said the Gehlen team had a chance to recover some points in the third round.

"That's call the 'Lightning Round,'" Stoll explained. "That was kind of a deciding factor in a lot of ours (matches), I thought."

According to Puhl, the third round involves answering many questions related to one topic.

Teams only have 60 seconds to come up with answers in the round.

Megan Kellen, a rising senior and team member, said when she heard the categories for the first playoff's Lightning Round, she felt confident in her team's ability to handle the opposing team.

"Once we heard the categories, I was like, 'okay, we can do this,'" Megan said.

The Quiz Bowl team selected the "Russian borders" category.

Members had to come up with 10 of the 14 countries that share borders with Russia, and Gehlen was only given 10 guesses to recall the information.

"We swept that, and so we got 100 points, plus a 20-point bonus," Puhl said. "And that put us ahead, so that way, we were able to win that game."

Gehlen's team won against Plano, Texas, by just 20 points in the first round of playoffs.

In their second round of playoffs, Gehlen beat Detroit Jesuit, a team ranked higher than Gehlen going into the playoffs.

When Gehlen's team advanced to the Chicago Final Four, Gehlen lost to Bishop-Kelley, from Tulsa, Okla.

Bishop-Kelley won the championship title at the Chicago competition and was undefeated in all the Chicago matches.

Looking past the academic competition, Jozef Lamfers, a graduated senior on Gehlen's team, said team members met people from around the United States.

"Between matches, you talk to them, shake their hands, get to know them a little more," Lamfers said.

Stoll complimented the sense of humor many of other teams showed.

"Most of them were cool," he said.

Along with competition, Gehlen's team members also had time for some fun while in Chicago.

They shared a few jokes and also bonded with one another.

Stoll said NBA finals played while the group was in Chicago, and he and Puhl commiserated over their shared dislike for a participating team.

Dickman explained watching basketball matches wasn't the only experience the team shared.

"Jozef, Aaron, and I went weightlifting, and that was pretty fun," Dickman said.

The team also rode the Ferris wheel on Navy Pier, ate Chicago-style hotdogs, and shared a deep dish pizza dinner.

Since Gehlen's Quiz Bowl team contains mostly graduated seniors, this will likely be their final quiz bowl competition.

Meyer recognized Chicago's National Academic Championship acted as the send-off for much of his team.

"It's a predominately senior team, so it's a good way for them to close out their last quiz bowl year," Meyer said.

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Gehlen Catholic Students Win Morningside College/KCAU 

Quiz Bowl 2nd year in a Row


On Tuesday, February 24th, the Gehlen Catholic Quiz Bowl team competed in the semifinals and finals of the Morningside College/KCAU (Channel 9) Quiz Bowl Competition in Sioux City.

Gehlen Catholic beat Winside (Nebraska) in the semi-finals 360-45. In the finals, the team defeated Sioux City North 275-165.

Seniors, Drew Dickman, Nathan Klein, Jozef Lamfers, and David Puhl (all of LeMars), along with Junior, Megan Kellen (Alton), were amongst the team members who competed this year.

Quiz Bowl Moderator, Mr. Mike Meyer (Orange City), said, to participate in Quiz Bowl, students need to be intelligent and well read individuals “...who possess excellent recall skills and the courage to be wrong.” 

Mr. Meyer acknowledged David Puhl as one of this year’s team members who again exemplified these attributes. 

Mr. Meyer also shared, “Certainly the success of our Quiz Bowl reflects the academic achievement and emphasis we have at Gehlen Catholic School. It also is nice to receive accolades in the academic arena beyond our own institutional awards such as honor roll, etc.”

This is the second year in row Gehlen Catholic has won the Morningside College/KCAU Quiz Bowl Competition. It is also the third time in school’s history the Quiz Bowl team has placed 1st in this competition.

To view all the rounds of competition click on the link below.


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