Sportsing for the Brain--that’s what a Knowledge Bowl competition is all about. HLA has been blessed with not one, but three teams of mathletes, grammarians, and cognizaners who go head to head with top students from surrounding schools in an impassioned volley of wit matching. Tuesday the teams faced 37 other small groups of academics in an effort to move their teams to the regional competition.

The Knowledge Bowlers train hard before each competition, quizzing one another, parlaying with words and math terms and geographic points of interest to push themselves to the edges of their intellectual capacity. The day of competition they prep by doing some stretches to make sure there is ample blood supply to the brain, carb-loading and hydrating, so as not to experience the nasty distraction of stomach rumbling as the fray stretches often past lunchtime. Focus and speed are everything. Synapses must be firing optimally.

The pre-meet routine pays off for Hillcrest, carrying two teams into the regional competition on Tuesday, April 22nd after last Tuesday's sub-region meet. Thomas Martinson, Hans Frank-Holzner, Luke Bowman, Daniel Preston, and Jacob Steinle advanced with an eye-popping score of 111, a 21 point advantage over their closest competitor in the 40 team field.

There is strategy involved in Knowledge Bowl. The challenge is to hear just enough of the question to press the buzzer before your opponents, but not SO early as to have insufficient information to respond correctly. On Tuesday, Zakary Zwiers, Eric Konynenbelt, Shantanu Mallick, Danny Isaac, and Sam Ihrke were stumped when they buzzed in after the official asked, “What…” What, what? They deliberated tensely before offering, “Argentina?” Incorrect. The question was read in its entirety and correctly answered by Lucas Frank-Holzner, Matthew Lein, Reggie Undseth, and Sam Isaac. The latter team of upper classmen is moving to the regional competition, the 5th of the 5 teams from the 40 team competitor field moving to the next round. The former group of freshman missed beating their upperclass friendly foes by 1 point.

Hillcrest carries two teams to the regional meet for the second time in two years. Last year Hillcrest moved all three teams to the regional competition, transitioning one team to the state meet. Hillcrest looks hopeful in achieving another state berth, where the knowledge bowlers eye the April 13 and 14th state competition at Craguns resort.

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