Hillcrest's two knowledge bowl teams faced-off against schools three to four times larger from Fargo and Moorhead last week. Their presence in the top ten is building muscles for the future regional meet. Their performance with the 19 team field revealed competence for their future benchmark in placing two teams past the regional meet as Hillcrest has done the past two years.
Hillcrest's first team, Zak Zwiers, Eric Konynenbelt, Dan Isaac, and Shantanu Mallick started the meet back in twelfth place. The written round hit the first team hard and placed them far down the hall from Hillcrest's second team, featuring Jack Nordick, Jake Rasmussen, Carter Mitchell, and Juliana Undseth, who placed in a top room ranking fourth in the competition after the written round.
The first team jumped two places after their first round of oral competition. They scored an astonishing 19 points in the next oral round, leaping to fifth place before scoring 14 points in their next room of competitors, entering the final round of competition in second place. The top team in the competition dominated the final round with Hillcrest present, scoring 16 points, leaving only four points for Hillcrest to pick up. The challenging final round bumped the Comets' first team back to sixth place, after their fight from twelfth place to second in three rounds of competition.
Hillcrest's second team faced a similar fate at the hands of the competition's top team, who scored 21 points in the opening oral round and left 10 for Hillcrest, which bumped the Comets' second team from fourth place to fifth place. In the proceeding round the Comets bumped back to tenth place, where they hovered in the third round, moving into ninth place for the final two rounds.
The Comet's first team earned the Moving Up award for their catapult into the top room from their twelfth place start. The Comets' ability to leap into the top room with the second team, and the progress and fight in the first team, shows a competitive program that is facing tough challenges in the regular season competitions for the Comets where they're facing schools with a much larger school program and student body.