By Tim Leeds
The Baltrusch team won the 2001 Havre High School Academic Challenge Wednesday, then went on to nearly defeat a team of teachers in a special bonus round.
Seniors Nikki Baltrusch, Lindsey Brandt, Stacey Siebrasse and Samantha Velk took an early strong lead against the faculty team. Marie Diggin, John Ita, Dan Koffler and Gary Staudinger represented the faculty. The faculty came back in the end to win the bonus round by just a few points.
Mary Wagner, master of ceremonies and organizer of the event, read 40 questions in the bonus round. Each successive round had more questions than the previous round, with the team answering the most correctly winning.
Wagner read 26 questions in the final round, where the Baltrusch team defeated juniors Kevin Harada, Seth Maristuen, Kyle Sheppard and Jake Szudera, the second-place team. Wednesday's competition consisted of the teams that survived the first round a week ago.
The first round of the competition was held Tuesday, April 3, at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The 32 teams competed in a race to seven correct answers, with the 16 winners advancing to Wednesday's competition.
Wednesday's event, also in the high school auditorium, started at 1 p.m. and ended just before 3:30 p.m. The program had to stop twice as the class bells rang so teachers could take attendance in their classroom.
The action moved quickly in the single-elimination event, with 12 rounds leading up to the finals, followed by the bonus round.
Wagner asked the questions in random order from a list of diverse categories, including advertising slogans, current events, math, history and English.