Academic Challenge Goes National

By Caroline Pennacchio

Briarcliff Academic Challenge Team 2013Although many people might not think of Academic Challenge as a team event, AC is as much team as individual. Briarcliff has two very successful teams, both of which competed in the national championship in New Orleans over Memorial Day Weekend. The Varsity Team consists of Mark Moretto, Tyler Friedman, Tong Li and Dan Jablansky. Meanwhile the JV Team is composed of sophomores Jacob Gold, Charlie Driver, Allen He, and Ezra Gans. Answering questions on anything from pop culture, math, science, and social studies, these teams hope to be competitive in the upcoming competition.

The club coordinator Mr. Groarke accompanied Briarcliff’s two strong teams which have progressed through about eight successive meets throughout this year. The teams competed based on age, and the points that the team earns (including individually earned points) will be added up as the final score. The team with the most points wins. Competing against many teams from throughout the U.S., this was a wonderful opportunity for all of the students as they experience the high level of competition.

The Varsity Team went 4-2 in the open competition and qualified for the playoffs. They won their first match against a higher seeded team. Then in the quarterfinals, they had the lead against the #2 seed in the tournament going into the last question. Unfortunately, the other team answered the question and won the game. Later on, that same team won the tournament. Although Briarcliff did not come away with the ultimate prize, there is a bright future ahead with Varsity Team Captain Tong Li and the returning sophomores. Those in the Class of 2013 had their final opportunity to compete for our school in Academic Challenge, and they made Briarcliff proud.

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