This year’s Arcadia High School Quiz Bowl team has become the first team from Southern California to ever win the prestigious National Quiz Bowl Championship this weekend (May 30-31, 2015).
The tenth annual academic competition among 272 of the best teams from all over the United States and Canada was hosted by National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT) at the Hyatt
Regency O’Hare in Chicago. AHS has competed in all nine previous tournaments, with the school’s previous best showing last year when the finished fifth.
The championship team is comprised of four seniors: Kevin Wang, Justin Nghiem, Yuqiao
Zhao, and Andrew Leung. They are coached by Arcadia High School English/Language Arts teacher Christopher Schultz.
This year Arcadia went through the prelims on Saturday with a record of 8-2 and was seeded seventh going into Sunday’s playoffs. At the end of the 22nd round (the 15th match for AHS), Arcadia was one of the last two teams in the winners bracket. They lost a close match (375-360) to defending national champions Liberal Arts and Science Academy from Austin, Texas. They
then went into the losers bracket. After three matches against teams that were all ranked in
the top ten in the country, AHS found themselves again matched up against the Liberal Arts and Science Academy for the title.
In the final match, after five questions, Arcadia was down 140-15. The Apaches kept their composure and rallied back to catch up at question sixteen, and then put away the defending champs for good, pulling away to a convincing 410-285 win.
Quiz Bowl is an academic competition that has a format similar to Jeopardy, but the questions
are much more difficult. The questions range over the entire spectrum of a high school
curriculum and also include a certain amount of current events, sports, and popular culture.
The matches feature a blend of individual competition and team collaboration.
Arcadia High School actually had three teams qualify for the national championships. The
Apaches “C” team finished in a tie for 21st place. No other school in the tournament had a
higher-placing second team. That team was made up of seniors Cibi Pari and Chris Chi and
freshmen Matt Forster and Hamlin Liu.
The Quiz Bowl team is one of more than 50 academic teams or clubs at Arcadia High School,
many of which also have a long history of putting Arcadia High academics in the national
- The History Bowl team also qualified for its national championship in Washington D.C. this year.
- The Ocean Sciences Bowl team competed in Ocean Springs, Mississippi in a
- The Science Bowl team placed fourth in Washington D.C. at its national
- The Arcadia High School “We the People” Constitution Team earned a coveted spot to compete in the 2015 National Finals in Washington D.C. in April.