By Hector TrujilloLa Jolla High School outlasted more than a dozen other teams to win the 12th annual La Jolla Surf Bowl held on Saturday and advance to the nationals in Washington, D.C.
The regional event, which is part of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), was held at Birch Aquarium and is an academic competition that consists of buzzer and written team challenge questions on marine science topics.
“I was really impressed with the team,” said La Jolla High School Coach Dave James. “They were answering questions that were really hard with a high level of sportsmanship.”
This year’s competition went down to the wire with La Jolla High School having to come from behind to regain the lead just before the end to beat Dana Hills high school two times in a row in order to be crowned champion.
The Vikings had two teams of five students each in this year’s tournament. Team A was made up of students who scored the most points overall in both round robin brackets. They were James Giammona, Ciara Kamahele-Sanfratello, Umi Hoshijima, Shumpei Marnyam and Sam Reineman.
Team B - Anna DeGooyer, Ian Fong, Varun Rau, Leslie Timms and Tim Trahan - also scored the most points in their bracket, but were unable to advance due to competition rules preventing two teams from one school moving on.
“La Jolla High School was really strong during the brackets,” NOSB Regional Coordinator Judith Coats said. “It was impressive how well they performed and how well they treated the other teams.”
La Jolla High School has been preparing for the tournament since the beginning of the school year by holding practices several times a week that started at 6:30 a.m., their coach said.
“I think they learned how to believe in themselves and not give up, a more important life lesson than winning a trophy,” James said.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps and Scripps Institution of Oceanography support the Sciences Bowl by offering educational field trips (such as meeting SIO scientists and touring their labs) and scrimmage and study sessions to help teams prepare.
The tournament traditionally has 16 teams competing, however this year’s version only had 14 due to two teams pulling out at the last minute.