College Bowl team reigns at PennBy Jennifer Vanasco
Though the underdog team won the Super Bowl on Jan. 25, a favorite claimed victory that day in a bowl of another sort -- the 7th annual Penn Quiz Bowl Championship. The University of Chicago College Bowl Team reigned as champions, defeating Vanderbilt in the final round on Sunday after a stunning last-second victory over the University of Michigan in the semi-finals.
"The win over Michigan in the semi-finals was incredibly exciting," said Mike Zarren, president of Chicago's College Bowl Team. "This wasn't a 'national championship,' but all the top-rated schools compete in it, so it's almost as big a win as the nationals." Chicago currently leads all other schools in national championship wins, with five national titles. In second place are Minnesota and Virginia, each with four.
Penn Bowl is the world's biggest invitational quiz-bowl tournament, with over 60 teams from U.S. schools competing. Chicago -- one of the pre-tournament favorites, along with Harvard and the University of Maryland -- contended against such other top-ranked teams as Michigan, Stanford, Cornell, MIT, BYU, Princeton, Vanderbilt, Howard and Minnesota.
The Chicago team, captained by John Sheahan, a third-year law student, went undefeated (19-0) over the course of the weekend, bringing home the Rethemeyer Cup. In addition to Sheahan, who was named Most Valuable Player at Penn Bowl and who holds the personal record for national championship wins (four), the winning team included Nitin Pagedar, a College senior; Mike Zarren, a junior; and Stephanie Walker, a first-year. Sheahan and Zarren were on last year's champion team, which won the National Academic Quiz Tournaments National Championship in Philadelphia. The championship Chicago team was one of three from the University to attend the competition. About 30 students are members of the University's College Bowl organization, and all of them attend at least one tournament during the year. Coming up for Chicago are regional and national championships in the two major divisions in which the team competes: the National Academic Quiz Tournaments Intercollegiate Championship on April 4, where Chicago will defend its national title, and the College Bowl Inc. Nationals on April 17. The College Bowl Inc. Regionals will be held at the Illinois Institute of Technology on Feb. 21. Chicago will also be hosting the Academic Competition Federation Regional Championship on Friday, Feb. 27 and Saturday, Feb. 28.
For more information about the University's College Bowl team, see student-www.uchicago.edu/orgs/bowl/.