Havre Daily News
After two days and five rounds of grueling competition, a new Academic Challenge champion was crowned Friday at Havre High School.
Nate Harada, Chris Brandt, Bryan Heath and Billy Wagner, a team of juniors, took first place. Second-place winners were Richard Jarvis, Michael Barton, Dustin Gerky and Jordan Croft, all seniors. The auditorium was filled with teachers, parents, students and community members for an eventful afternoon.
In the battle of the minds, 32 teams of four students each faced off beginning Thursday night.
Math teacher Mary Wagner, who coordinates the competition, read the questions - which ranged in subject from sports to geography - and the students buzzed in to answer.
In some of the exchanges, the students were too quick on the buzzer.
“On what ship did most Americans die?” Mary Wagner asked. The first response - “Titanic” - was given before Wagner finished the question.
She told the students the answer was incorrect and finished reading the question with “ ... in Pearl Harbor.”
The opposing team gave the correct answer: the USS Arizona.
In another question, Wagner asked: “Niagara Falls forms the border between Canada -”
“The U.S.,” a Havre High boy answered.
“Incorrect. Niagara Falls forms the border between Canada and which U.S. state?” she asked again.
The girls on the other team didn't know. The correct answer is New York.
Answering too quickly was a common mistake, Wagner said. Sometimes it's advantageous to ring in early, but other times it is better to wait until the full question is read, she said.
“If you ring in too early and take the question in the wrong direction, you can give the wrong answer,” Wagner said today.
One answer that brought cheers and delight from the audience was,“On what item of a man's clothing is he most likely to wear lapels?”
The boys answered “a tie,” which is incorrect. The girls gave the proper answer: a suit jacket.
Some of the students' favorites were the questions labeled “Havre High Before and After.”
“A junior girl whose dad manages Albertsons and the opposite of down,” Wagner said
The girls' team gave the proper answer of, “Autumn Filler Up.”
Several times Wagner had to quiet the unruly crowd because their laughter and cheering made it difficult for the teams to hear the questions and for her to hear the answers given.