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Quiz Bowl reaches quarterfinals at state

Rosemount High School’s state Quiz Bowl team was Aaron Larrow, Mac Pearman, Colin McCann, Joseph Anderson, Cory Quirk and Tristan Goblirsch.

A team made up of some of Rosemount High School’s nimblest minds turned in the school’s best performance in recent memory at last week’s Quiz Bowl state championship.

The top RHS Quiz Bowl team of Aaron Larrow, Mac Pearman, Colin McCann, Joseph Anderson, Cory Quirk and Tristan Goblirsch advanced to the quarterfinals Feb. 27 before losing to St. Thomas Academy, one of the top two teams in the state. The Irish actually led in the match until the final six questions.

“I really thought we were going to pull off an upset,” said team advisor Chris Kauffeld.

The Irish will make their fifth trip to the national Quiz Bowl competition at the end of May.

Rosemount, which advanced to state after winning its third straight conference title and was the best-placed District 196 team in the tournament, has come a long way since Kauffeld took over eight years ago. In his first year, there were just three students on the team. So, he started recruiting the students in his Spanish class and from the study halls he administered. Then, those students started talking to their friends. Things just grew from there.

This year, there are 31 students competing on five teams. It was Rosemount’s top team that advanced to state and nationals.

The competition, which is set up a bit like a television game show, asks students to ring in to answer questions from a wide range of subject areas.

To be successful, students need a wide range of knowledge and the ability to quickly pick obscure facts from their brain.

“It tends to be a kid that may not have the best grades but is very intellectually quick and who can recall facts and random information very quickly,” Kauffeld said. “It’s almost like jousting mentally.”

This year’s state team was particularly good at the joust. Kauffeld said the team has succeeded because the students have a strong mix of knowledge in a wide range of areas.

Their only weakness? Classical music.

Following the state meet the students will take a break from Quiz Bowl until the beginning of May. Then, they’ll start printing out lists of facts they think they might need to know.

Kauffeld expects the trip to nationals, which will be held in Chicago, will be good for his team.

“You get to see these schools from the East Coast that, it’s amazing the breadth of knowledge those kids have,” he said. “It’s really interesting to compete at that level. We’re not going in with the idea of winning. We would like to place in the top 50.”

Rosemount’s top finish so far at Quiz Bowl nationals is 57th.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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