Parker’s Upper school junior varsity Quizbowl team took home first place at the University of California, San Diego Spring Quizbowl tournament on Saturday, May 4. Grade 9 students Hayden Ghosh, Zachary Partnoy, Mark Rifkin, and Jesse Smith did well in the preliminary round with a 9-0 record. The last match of the prelims featured a monster comeback for the Lancers who were down 280-120 with six 10-point toss-up questions remaining, the Lancers correctly answered every one including three early buzz-ins earning a five additional “power” points each, which resulted in a 315-275 victory.

In the finals, Parker faced off against national powerhouse Arcadia High School’s JV squad whose only loss in the prelims was against Parker. As the tournament was essentially a double elimination, Arcadia needed to beat Parker twice in order to emerge victoriously. Six questions into the finals, Parker led 160-(-5) and by halftime Parker still had the advantage. However, that’s when the tables turned. Arcadia won seven of the remaining 10 toss-up questions, including five “powers”, and crushed the bonuses to cruise to a 410-230 victory.

The second leg of the finals started off in a similar fashion with Parker holding a 185-65 advantage at the half. With four questions remaining, Arcadia narrowed the gap to 260-200. That was as close as they would get as Parker held on with two more correct answers. Parker had secured victory before the last toss-up and Zachary Partnoy put an exclamation point on the day by correctly naming “The Curious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

When asked about the nail-biting competition, Quizbowl coach and faculty advisor Ari Gass said, “I am so proud of our students. They did exceptionally well against a top competitor. It was an awesome win for Parker.”