BEACHWOOD—Lakeside’s ‘A’ team brought its A-game to win the inaugural Chagrin Valley Conference Academic Challenge competition at Beachwood High School on Saturday.
The Dragons went undefeated in the Chagrin pool and then beat both Independence and Beachwood in the playoffs on the way to winning the event and earning an automatic berth into the Ohio Academic Challenge regional competition at Solon High School on April 15.
“Our expectation was we wanted to be somewhere near the top and what was really interesting is that when we showed up, we got off to a really good start and next thing you know, in the preliminaries we went undefeated,” said Lakeside advisor Ed Gallatin. “In the playoff round, we had played Beachwood and Independence in the regular rounds and we were successful against both of them, so we thought we had a solid shot.”
Lakeside won all seven of its preliminary match-ups to earn the top spot in the final four. The Dragons matched up in the semifinals with Independence, who finished second to Kirtland in the Valley pool. Beachwood, who finished second to Lakeside A in the preliminary rounds, upset Kirtland in the semifinals to set up the championship matchup between the Dragons and the Bison.
Seniors Analisia Guijosa, Brian Locy, and Ethan Gallatin teamed up with junior Owen Meany and sophomore Alex Shevchik to lead the Dragons to the win.
Lakeside plans to stay sharp for the regional event by competing in the Ashtabula County Academic Challenge league.
The Dragons will play several matches prior to the regionals in April.
“So, the good news is that overwhelmingly for the next five or six weeks is we’re going to be competing almost every other week,” Ed Gallatin said.
Despite the one-question loss to Beachwood in the semifinals, Kirtland’s academic challenge team will join Lakeside at the regional competition as each team that wins a competition or league with six or more teams in it earns an automatic berth into the regional event.
“We were very excited to put a team together,” said Kirtland advisor Meriah Duncan. “The team didn’t have much time to practice because the kids are very busy, so we squirreled away every moment we could with a little bit of extra study on the part of the kids on their own. They just brought what they bring to class every day.”
Kirtland’s team consisted of senior Austin Booth and juniors Vincent Eveland, Adriana Freitas, and Penny McFadden.
The Hornets hope to build off the momentum they gained by winning all of their preliminary matchups at the CVC event.
“We’re going to keep searching for material,” Duncan said. “That was the most difficult part, finding adequate trivia. We never played under this kind of competition before. The only thing we have done in the past was to prepare for the WEWS Academic Challenge TV show, so this was all new to us.”
The CVC Academic Challenge was set up following the rules outlined by Ohio Academic Challenge.
There were three rounds of trivia questions with the first two rounds set up to allow each team an opportunity to answer the question. If the team whose round it was to answer failed to answer within 10 seconds, the other team could jump in and steal the question.
The third round was a fast-paced trivia contest with each team allowed to answer any of the asked questions.
The Chagrin Division pool consisted of teams from Lakeside, Lutheran West, Beachwood, Edgewood, Geneva, and future CVC members Conneaut and Madison, while the Valley Division pool featured teams from Independence, Kirtland, Lutheran West, Geneva, Trinity, Lakeside, and Edgewood.