Hans Holzner, Thomas Martinson, and Jake Steinle saw rewards for their work in knowledgebowl, after opting out last year. The trio earned a bid to compete in the knowledgebowl state competition last year, but committed to attend Hillcrest's band tour that fell on the same weekend. The three were determined to get back to state and represent what is happening in the halls of Hillcrest with some of the smartest students in the State.
The busy trio joined Luke Bowman and Daniel Preston this year to form a 5 man team that was the best in the region by far. This 5 man team consisted of a State Cross-country runner, Section final football player, a member of Hillcrest's undefeated basketball team, and some musicians who won accolades at various music contests. The mosaic of successes that follow this team is nothing short of extraordinary. Their work in knowledgebowl's state competition followed suit.
Nervously sitting in room of 4X8 folding tables, the Hillcrest team set to work. Their night of excitement was behind them, walking around the campus of Craguns resort with the beauty of lakes country at their finger tips. The team was focused. They didn't get distracted by the resort.
When competition morning came the Comets were ready. The team won 3rd place in the written round, a true test of knowledge where students feverishly complete questions with paper and pencil. When the oral round opened, the Comets sat in a room with the best students in the state. They were in the 1st place room.
Their fingers lightly tapped the green strip that lay across their table. They were nervous. The buzzer strip isn't very sensitive to touch. The team turned their left ears to hear questions, their right hand held pencils over paper, prepared for the obscure math question to throw them off the history and geography sections of the quiz. When buzzers rang a gentle breeze was felt throughout the room. Students hold their breath in knowledgebowl, releasing pent up air in unison. When the first round finished, Hillcrest managed 10 points, well off the pace of their previous meet where they scored nearly 18 points in each round.
The 10 point total bumped the Comets back to the second place room, a 6th place ranking followed them on the walk from 3rd place. They would experience similar results for much of the day, earning an average of 10 points in the proceeding rounds. The Comet's consistency kept them in the 3rd room for much of the day, where they competed against the 6th-9th place teams.
When the final buzzer sounded and the teams gathered for the awards ceremony, Hillcrest stood in 8th place. With medals around their neck they looked back at the 24 school competition, realizing their team is in the top 10 and is returning all members next year. Hans Holzner said the experience was incredible. He will look to repeat the success he and his team earned this year as they think about their Senior year.