Ilwaco Knowledge Bowl squad whizzes to second in state

Bobby Schmidt, Kristi Freese, Katie Freese, Dylan Wirkkala, and Meredith Jensen hold their second place trophy as coach Tom Trudell looks on in mock surprise.

CAMAS - It all came down to a final round of questions and Team Anglerfish from Ilwaco finished second behind private school Charles Wright Academy of Tacoma in the 1A state Knowledge Bowl tournament in Camas Saturday.

Bobby Schmidt (the only senior), Katie Freese, Kristi Freese, Meredith Jensen, and Shaun Peterson (all juniors) began the competition with a 50-question test that had to be completed as a team in 35 minutes. The oral rounds, four of them, were next, each was also comprised of 50 questions.

The oral rounds are quick recall and participants must buzz in ahead of everyone else to have the first chance at a correct answer. After the four oral rounds and the written test, Team Anglerfish stood third among the 12 teams who had qualified for the state tournament.

In the semi-final round, Ilwaco defeated teams from Kettle Falls and Columbia-Burbank. After 47 questions the Fish were dead even with Columbia-Burbank, but answered two of the final three queries to advance to the finals.

Highland, CWA, and Ilwaco, after each completing 400 questions in nearly five hours of competition, settled in for the final crucial 50 questions. With six questions remaining, CWA had secured the championship, but Ilwaco was dead-locked with Highland for second. Again the Anglerfish put on their thinking caps to correctly solve the final queries and claim second in state.

"The focus of our kids was amazing and I am so proud of them," Coach and Ilwaco High School history teacher Tom Trudell praised.

The previous best placing at Knowledge Bowl at the state level was third by the Fishermen.

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