The West Valley High School Knowledge Bowl team last weekend accomplished what no other school in south central Washington has ever done before.

The West Valley team won the State 2A Knowledge Bowl title during the 31st annual statewide competitions that were held at Arlington High School on Saturday, March 23.

This is the 10th year that schools in south central Washington have participated in the statewide program.  West Valley has qualified for state for each of those 10 years, placing for the first time just last year with the 8th place plaque among 3A schools.

Members of the West Valley state championship team are Joseph Martin, Jessica Rhodes, Ryan Shean, Graham Stoddard, and Julia Villasenor.  The team’s faculty co-advisors are Elizabeth Chicken and Ron Bergevin.

Knowledge Bowl involves high school teams of up to six members in a contest of the students' knowledge in a broad range of academic areas.  Each tournament begins with a written round during which team members work together to solve a list of multiple-choice problems.  Teams then engage in a series of oral rounds against two other schools in answering a series of questions ranging from math and science to history and language arts.

Last weekend’s state event involved students from dozens of Washington’s schools, with each size division involving a tournament of 18 similarly-sized schools.  In the initial morning round at state, West Valley correctly answered 47 of the 50 questions during the opening written portion.  The team then emerged with the highest total points among all the 2A schools in the initial oral rounds.

When play resumed for the trophy-level rounds among the nine top-finishing 2A schools from the morning session, West Valley continued to win each of its three afternoon oral rounds.  In the final oral round, West Valley of Yakima finished a handful of points ahead of second place Prosser and third place West Valley of Spokane.

Read more about the competition here.

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