Nationals 2001

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The following are the recollections from the 2001 National Bible Quiz Finals of Daniel Marlow, captain and top scorer of the 2nd place team from Faith A/G, Topeka, KS.

 

For me, 2001 nationals was the culmination of my four years of involvement in the quiz program.  In my first two years with the program, I quizzed on non-A/G team and, while it was fun, I didn’t get to advance beyond district finals.  In my third year of involvement, I quizzed on a two-man team in Overland Park, Kansas.  I had never been beyond District finals and our second chair had never been in quiz before that year.  Talk about a learning experience!  But I will save the balance of that conversation for my reflections on the 2000 quiz year.

 

2001 was the second year of the two year initial experiment with using a writing team, led by Greg House and some of his former quizzers.  I liked quizzing over their questions because they were consistent and contained patterns that were relatively simple to pick up and apply. 

 

Our team began the year at the Elkhart tournament.  During the year, our team played at many tournaments, including Elkhart, the Missouri Classic, South Texas and Vegas.  I remember that year that we won South Texas and that at the rest of them, we finished in the top three.  With the exception of Elkhart, I took first place individual at most of the tournaments that year, averaging somewhere between 115 and 140 at each one.  I had averaged around 150 at district finals and 138 at regionals.  I had completed the memorization of the basic material sometime around December, and spent a majority of the year studying concordance items.  I had a file well over 150 pages long of just concordance questions.  Luke was a difficult year to wrestle with the concordance, since there were so many items that could be asked.  Nevertheless, I studied anywhere from 3 to 4 hours each day working on bible quiz stuff that year. 

 

As regional champions, we automatically made the championship bracket.  On Monday, we quizzed the other regional champions and fared relatively well.  I felt I had a pretty good handle on the questions from the concordance study that I had done.  On Tuesday, we began quizzing against King’s Chapel.  Around about question 8 of this match, it was obvious that this was going to be a big victory.  Richard Fair, the captain of King’s Chapel, had turned over a 30 pointer and missed another 20.  [My second-chair] hit a concordance Two Part Quotation Question, as well as several other 20s and 10s.  I finished off the match by hitting the “of the Lord”’s 30 pointer, quizzing out with a perfect 160.  Our next match against Cedar Rapids was very similar to round 1, resulting a 100+ point victory.  Then, we stumbled for two rounds.  Against Oak Cliff, I ended up quizzing out backwards with something like 30 points.  Michael Pearson, the high scorer that year, had heavily studied the concordance, so he pounced on the 30s asked that match.  However, my inability to get 20s right that match ended up costing us.  Our next match against Briargate was a different story.  Briargate got some awesome hits and, frankly, just beat us.  As noted by the score, not a single question was missed that entire round.  To me, whether win or loss, that is what a quizzing match should be.  I don’t remember a whole lot about rounds 5-7, but I know we won them all.  Round 8 we quizzed Bothell, Washington.  That round, I remember [my second chair] and Michelle had a tough time beating Bothell to the buzzer.  They knew the basic material very well, so it was hard to beat them.  However, thankfully, there were a number of good concordance questions that match that I could hit.  I remember getting the 20 pointer for the five “Son of” titles used in Luke, as well as the 30 pointer to the list the chapters in which synagogues were mentioned (I think there were 9).  I quizzed out with 135 and, thanks to a turnover from Bothell, we won the match.

 

Round 10 against Orange is the one that, to this day, I still get angered about--not at anyone else….just at myself.  I remember on the second question of the match, I hit a single verse Scripture Text Question.  I have no idea why I did that, as that was the kind of question I normally hit.  I summarily missed it, leaving an easy turnover for Orange.  Then, I then proceeded to miss the next 20 pointer asked and did not hit a 30 point turnover due to the fact that it was a quotation question and I had two wrong (not a very good reason, as we lost anyway). I remember [my second chair] also having difficulty that match with a couple 10s and 20s.  I think we both errored out that match.  Not a high point of Nationals!

 

After this match, we lost only one other match, to Christian Chapel.  Caleb and Lydia had some very good hits that match, sufficient to disable us and giving us a loss.  We would later get redemption for this when we won the 2nd/3rd place playoff against them.  There was one incident, on the lighter side, that I remember from our match against Lebanon, PA.  Lebanon, I think it was Katie Chenco, hit this 10 point question “Why not judge?”  Based upon the context of the Scripture text, neither team thought this question was valid.  Lebanon contested validity.  Both my coach and I agreed that this question was not valid and were not going to argue something we didn’t believe.  However, this being round 14, I was getting kind of goofy.  So, rather than just agreeing, I said that the question was completely invalid and then started a 45 second temper tantrum that I cannot recall to this day.  However, it was more of a humorous tandrum (and was intended to be).  I can remember that, after finishing, Lorna Albanese and George Edgerly both lost it.  We had about a 5 minute while the judges “got it out of their system” and conferred.  And yes, the question was ruled invalid.

 

By this point, I knew that our remaining rounds were against teams below 10th place, so I basically laid off the buzzer, for the most part, for the remainder of Nationals.  I didn’t want to jeopardize making some ridiculous hit and costing us a match, as we were in dead heat for the 1st place title.  In our match against Superior, I laid off the buzzer WAY TOO much.  That match ended up coming down to question 20.  However, I was able to buzz in and get it, giving us another notch in the win column. 

 

Unfortunately, I never saw the match King’s Chapel was playing against Briargate.  However, I wish I could have!  As it turned out, that question number 20 victory sealed the deal for Briargate, which had won several close games that Nationals. 

 

At the end of the day, Briargate had taken first prize, with a single game playoff for 2nd place between our team and Christian Chapel, against whom we had played off at South Central Regionals.  The match started off with both teams getting questions.  However, the turning point was around question 5, when Greg asked for the eight or nine items described as “earth’s  This was a word description question, which I had gotten nearly all of that Nationals.  After that, Tulsa turned over a couple of questions.  In the end, both myself and [my second chair] quizzed out forward on the way to our victory and 2nd place.

 

The individual tournament was, well, interesting.  I had quizzed well until the final round, where I made a couple of mistakes.  I think the question had to do with the 18 chapters that mentioned Pharisees.  I had accidentally stated one too many chapters.  As soon as I said it, I knew it was wrong.  Then, I missed another 20 point cross-reference question for who knows what reasons.  I think I was just tired and not making very good hits.  The title came down to the final 10 pointer, which Ryan snagged, giving him the title.  I don’t really remember much about the quoting bee.  I think I was out after about three rounds or so.  I think I was just tired at that point.

 

Much like 2000, Nationals in 2001 had a large number of very good teams which had caught on to Greg’s style and adapted their quizzing format appropriately.  However, I think the number of teams that had adapted was higher in 2001 than 2000, causing the competition level to be, overall, a little greater.  I don’t know if Jordan and Caleb would agree with me, but I think our three teams were very evenly balanced that year.  Briargate had defeated Orange, while we had not.  In addition, their collective quiz experience exceeded ours at the National level.  Other than myself, none of my other teammates had been to Nationals in a quizzer capacity, as was the case back in 2000.  Nevertheless, it all came down a handful of key victories.  If we had beaten Orange or if Briargate had not snagged the 20th question against King’s Chapter in round 18, the roles would have been different.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed my time at Nationals in 2001 and my four years in quiz, two of which were at the National level.  If there was one thing I could impart to other quizzers now, it would be to “reach for the stars” with your potential.  Just as it is with anything, you can only get out of something what you put into it.  I put a lot into quiz and got a lot back.  This was a tremendous amount of fun for me and my teammates and I encourage quizzers out there to “give your all,” “reach for the stars,” and be that light “shining in the darkness.”