Lowell Hoists the Trophy

May 22, 2019

TYNGSBORO — For the first time since 2013, the Kendall M. Wallace Greater Lowell Regional Knowledge Bowl trophy has been won by Lowell middle-school students.

Lowell earned the title of Knowledge Bowl champion in convincing fashion, scoring 305 points and defeating runners-up Tewksbury (185 points) and third-place finisher Chelmsford (140 points) on Tuesday night.

“It’s an exciting feeling, a rush of adrenaline,” said 13-year-old Lowell team member Curtis Chanthaboun, moments after hoisting the trophy.

“It’s just shock,” added 13-year-old Lowell team captain Nina Wolf.

Tuesday’s finals were held inside the Tyngsboro High School Auditorium, providing “home field” for last year’s Regional Knowledge Bowl champions. Tyngsboro Middle School, along with Dracut and Billerica middle schools, were eliminated in the semifinal round held on Monday night.

The hours of studying over the stretch of months in categories of math, science, literature and current events all came down to this on Tuesday night for the 10 students from each Lowell, Tewksbury and Chelmsford.

Four students from each school took the stage inside the auditorium packed with family and friends. The students sat at tables, their school name and colors displayed on the banner hanging in front of them.

After ensuring their buzzers and alert-lights worked, the quizzing began.

Lowell opened up a substantial lead early on, with 13-year-old Lowell student Alden Raisbeck correctly answering several questions, like, “The complex process for producing vulcanite has an energy efficiency of just 3 percent. In a vulcanite plant using this process, if 140,000 joules of energy are input, what is the energy output of this system?” (4,200 joules) and “On a sailing ship, name the deck that is situated farthest back on the stern superstructure.” (poop deck).

How does Raisbeck know all this stuff? “The internet, the internet and the internet,” he said with his first-place medal hanging around his neck after Tuesday night’s victory.

During the current events round, Lowell’s lead held steady, with the three teams correctly answering questions like, “Emperor Akihito recently declared his abdication in a historic ceremony at the Imperial Palace. he is the first monarch to stand down in more than 200 years in what nation?” (Japan).

The Tewksbury students worked to close the gap in the “toss up bonus round,” answering questions from topics like number problems, World War II, currency and Congress. In the end, Lowell came out on top.

“These guys are really smart and they work hard, and we had fun with this,” said Tewksbury team coach Tim Olevsky, surrounded by a smiling group of Tewksbury middle school students.

Team member Harshit Pal said Tewksbury’s Wynn Middle School had been viewed as an underdog.

“It feels great to see how far this team came,” the 14-year-old added.

The Lowell Public Schools previously held a battle of knowledge among nine of the district’s middle schools over a seven-week period ending in March. Wang Middle School was named the champion of the competition, titled the Kathryn Philbin Stoklosa Knowledge Bowl.

The Lowell team that won the finals was an “all star” team composed of students from three middle schools that reached the Lowell-based Knowledge Bowl championship. The team included four students from Wang, and three students each from runners-up Daley Middle School and STEM Academy. This was the first Regional Knowledge Bowl that used this format in the competition’s seven-year history.

Wang team coaches Karen Cole and Jolane Roy, along with the coaches from the other two schools, assisted in the finals. They pointed out the students from the three schools came together roughly four weeks ago to get to know each other and prepare for the battle of knowledge.

“I’m so proud of this team,” Cole said, as her team celebrated with hugs and photos. “We all came together four weeks ago, and they really came together for this. We had to come together and create a team feeling here, and they really did.”

Aside from Chanthaboun, Wolf and Raisebeck, the Lowell team consisted of Gabby Rudy, Enrique A. Raudales, Douglas Forsythe, Kiran Maharjan, Jacqueline Tran, Jackson Little, Yutt Kho and Isaac Maniscalco.

The last time a Lowell public school won the Regional Knowledge Bowl was when Wang Middle School came out on top in 2013.

Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis

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