April 25, 2006

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LEWISBURG, Pa. - In Bucknell's first-ever appearance in the College Bowl National Championship Tournament, Bucknell finished 12th out of 16 teams this past weekend in Hartford, Conn.

Overall winner at the tournament was the University of California-Los Angeles, following Sunday's playoff rounds. The University of Illinois-Urbana placed second, followed by Washington University-St. Louis and the University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota was the tournament's overall winner in the prior two years.

The four-student Bucknell team, captained by senior David Allen, finished ahead of Seton Hall University, the University of Arizona, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

Allen had said going into the tournament that they knew they were going up against some College Bowl perennial powerhouses and that after 15 matches, three Friday and 12 Saturday, they finished with five wins and 10 losses. "Three of those losses were extremely close and one of those losses was to the eventual national champion - UCLA," said Allen.

Also on the Bucknell team were Stephen Chronowski, Thomas Goodman, and Zachary Simoncelli. The team was coached by Alexander Richman, assistant professor of mathematics. The team had one English, one electrical engineering, and two chemical engineering majors.

The object of the tournament is to compete against other collegiate teams to answer questions in academic subject areas that include history, science, literature, geography, religion, social sciences, the arts as well as sports, current events, general knowledge, popular culture, and multicultural topics.

Bucknell won a bid to the national championship after winning the regional competition in February.

"We decided as a team to dress up. We wore suits and ties Saturday and people didn't recognize us from the night before," Allen said. "It was definitely a great experience and we're hoping to build on this for next year. We have two sophomores on the team and a whole bunch of freshmen who come regularly to practice. Hopefully, we can groom some successors."

Allen, who finished the Round Robin competitions as the 13th ranked player, said there were a lot of tough questions. "North Korea came up a lot as an answer to things," he said. "We could have definitely used a history major. There were a lot of American history questions."

Posted April 24, 2006


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