Spring Lake Park is State Champ in 2013 Minnesota Knowledge Bowl
The Spring Lake Park High School Knowledge Bowl team took first place in the large-school Class AA division of the 2013 Minnesota State Knowledge Bowl Meet held April 11-12, 2013 at Cragun's Resort in Brainerd.
The state's top 48 teams qualified for the two-day state meet following regional competition throughout the state.
Spring Lake Park placed first with 121.5 points, followed by Chaska, 119; Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose, 108.5; Chanhassen, 107.5; Sartell, 106.5; and St. Cloud Tech, 103.
Members of the winning team were Ben Allen, Jocelyn Bayer, Bobni Das, Lee Kallestad, and Nikitha Potturi.
Other members of Spring Lake Park's team throughout the season were Brandon Anderson, Andrew Bartlet, Josh Bayer, Nathan Brophy, Andy Dang, Sarah Fetter, Derek Hartman, Ryan Hartman, John Just, Daniel Kanani, David Lewandowski, Vi Nguyen, Mariam Suri, and Austin Swenson.
The State Knowledge Bowl Meet began with a written round of 60 questions. Based upon their scores, teams were then power-ranked prior to competing in four 45-question oral rounds. At the end of the grueling oral rounds, Spring Lake Park had achieved the highest total and was crowned state champ.
After the written round and three oral rounds, Spring Lake Park overcame a ten-point deficit to go into the last round down by three points. "Chaska has a fantastic team and our team members knew if they wanted to win they would need to have an outstanding performance. They did not disappoint," said coach Melanie Tuve. "They took an early lead and were able to hold it. It was such an amazing moment when they realized that they were state champions."
Members of the winning team have been together for a long time.
Ben, Jocelyn, Bobni, Lee, Nikitha, and others gained valuable experience participating in Knowledge Bowl at Westwood Middle School. They began working together and competing as seventh-graders, the first year that the middle school had a program.
When they got to the high school, there wasn't a program. The eventual state meet-winning students took the initiative to start a program, sought out faculty member Melanie Tuve to coach, recruited members, and proceeded to dedicate four years to the program.
"Through their hard work and determination they created a very strong Knowledge Bowl program at Spring Lake Park. I am so proud of all they have accomplished and I couldn't think of a group that deserves success more than these students," said Tuve. "They are such great people, great role-models for our team, and so talented. I am so grateful to have had the privilege to coach each one of them."
Spring Lake Park's Knowledge Bowl team previously claimed first place in the March 19 metro regional Knowledge Bowl playoffs. In doing so, they outpointed number one-ranked and undefeated Chaska by 14 points to win the title. The 102-team metro region also included teams from Edina, Totino-Grace, St. Thomas Academy, Benilde-St. Margaret, Eastview, Holy Family, Minnetonka, Cretin-Derham Hall, and Holy Angels.
In addition to the regional crown, the team was the North Suburban Conference champ for the third year in a row.