Hamilton MS Quiz Bowl team earns top-5 finish, nationals berth

April 28, 2021

Hamilton Quiz Bowl team earns national berthHamilton Middle School students (top row, from left) Oishani Banerjee, Vedanth Hariharan and Rex Esch; (second row, from left) Ayusha Chaudhari, Yousuf Hussain and Tavin Patel; and (third row, from left) Sania Gupta and James Burke earned a berth at National Academic Quiz Tournament’s Middle School National Championship Tournament. It’s the second berth in a row for the team, which qualified at the Texas Quiz Bowl Alliance Winter Roundup II Tournament in January.

April 28, 2021—The Hamilton Middle School Quiz Bowl team earned a berth to the National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT)’s Middle School National Championship Tournament following a top-five finish in qualifying competition. The berth is the second in as many years for Hamilton, while seventh grade student Vedanth Hariharan recently competed in the Individual Player National Championship Tournament.

The national competition will be conducted virtually on May 1-2. Last year’s tournament, originally scheduled for May 2020 in Chicago, was canceled by the NAQT in accordance to the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention’s guidance on prevention of COVID-19 spread.

Hamilton’s Quiz Bowl team is comprised of eighth grade students Sania Gupta and Yousuf Hussain, seventh grade students Oishani Banerjee, Ayusha Chaudhari, Rex Esch, Tavin Patel and Hariharan, and sixth grade student James Burke.

They qualified for nationals at the Texas Quiz Bowl Alliance Winter Roundup II Tournament, which was conducted virtually in January. The competition covers multiple topics including science, literature, math, chemistry, history, geography, current events and art history.

Hamilton posted a 3-2 record and accumulated 1,630 points in the preliminary rounds of competition, advancing to the playoffs. The team won its playoff opener, defeating Pennsylvania’s Great Valley Middle School, 230-220. Hamilton then defeated Katy ISD’s Beckendorff Junior High School’s B Team, 260-185.

In the semifinals, Hamilton was defeated by Beckendorff’s A Team, 555-75. The Tigers finished tied for third in the tournament’s final standings and earned their berth to nationals.

Hariharan competed in the individual championship tournament on April 25. He finished in the top half of the 51-person field, placing tied for 25th after totaling 460 points. In the individual subject areas, Hariharan earned two top-20 finishes, placing 11th in popular culture and sports and 18th in current events.

“Hamilton Middle School is once again extremely proud of our Quiz Bowl team as they have worked endless hours preparing for the national tournament,” said Cindy Bennett, campus content instructional specialist and the team’s school liaison. “Their diligence and enjoyment in practicing the many subjects and for many hours, is admirable and their success spotlights their hard work in securing an invitation for a second consecutive year. We continue to celebrate their dedication and knowledge.” 

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