By RUAA LABANIEH
Last weekend, University High School’s (UHS) Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) Academic Bowl team returned from the Western Regional Competition in Salem, Oregon.
The team members are Nora Vogt (Jr.), Nicholas Rudar (Sr.), Francisco Cornejo (So.) and Alissa Poston (Sr.).
The team won 8 of its 9 matches, beating teams from California, Wyoming, Hawaii, Washington and Oregon.
Rudar was honored as one of the All Star players at the competition, an honor given to competitors that perform well in the categories of teamwork and leadership.
To qualify for the national event at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C., teams must place in the top four in the regional tournament.
The UHS team placed second, losing out to the team from Fremont’s California School for the Deaf but securing its spot in Washington D.C.
While the regional competition covered the cost of the hotels and food for the weekend, the members themselves paid for airfare to Oregon.
The team did not win any specific amount of prize money for qualifying for the national tournament; however, the national competition will cover members’ airfare and hotel costs and will provide a travel stipend for the team.
Coached by Mr. Kay Anderson (DHH Dept.), the team has been competitively successful for many years, having qualifyied for the national competition ten times in the last twelve years.
Anderson congratulated his team, saying that “they held themselves up so well … [I am] looking forward to going to the Nationals in April.”
The bowl itself consists of questions about math, science, literature, history, geography and deaf culture.
Rudar said that in terms of training, the team met “once a week and [competed] with other schools through a webcam. The academic bowl is a comprehensive event where everyone participates in the same way.”