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The 47th National Bible Quiz Finals took place July 12-17, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri at the Renaissance Marriott Hotel covering the gospel of Mark. Bernie Elliot was the National Coordinator and Aaron Kohler was the official question writer. This was the second year in which Aaron wrote questions. It was also the first year since 1969 that the gospel of Mark was studied.
The championship division was won by Owasso First Assembly of God, Owasso, OK (pictured). This was the second consecutive year that this church won nationals. They are only the seventh team to do so in the history of Bible Quiz, although they are the third to do so in the previous ten years. They join teams from Denver, CO (1966 and 1967), New Orleans, LA (1983 and 1984), Tempe, AZ (1986 and 1987), Lakeland, FL (1990 and 1991), Orange, CA (2002 and 2003) and Colorado Springs, CO (2006 and 2007). If wins during the preliminary rounds are included, Owasso won 48 consecutive games at national finals which is a record. Counting the wins only during the regular rounds, Owasso has the second-best two-year record of all time with 37 wins and 1 loss (the best was Orange, CA, in 2002 and 2003, who was undefeated both years). The second place team was Cedar Park A/G, Bothell, WA. This marks the fourth straight year that Bothell has been in second place. This breaks a 30-year old record held by Riverside, CA for longest second place streak (they were second in 1978, 1979 and 1980). Bothell was the national champion in 2005, though, a feat that Riverside never accomplished. The third place team was Faith A/G, Orlando, FL. The challenger division was won by Lakeside A/G, Menominee, MI. Menominee was the first known team to make it to nationals from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
This marks the second consecutive and fifth overall year in which the South Central region has won nationals. The Owasso team had one of the most balanced teams in history with Josh, Daniel and Jesse Wagner scoring 38%, 34% and 26% of their team's total points, respectively.
The top scorer at the 2009 National Finals was Jared Burkhalter from Orlando, FL. Jared's per quiz average was 115.79. Second high scorer, James Lex from Acworth, GA quizzed out in all but two games. Also with a notable finish was Abby Rogers from Wesley Chapel, FL. Abby was a sixth grader who, only one month earlier, was also the top scorer at JBQ national finals. Also breaking 100 points per game was Brandon Duffy of Bothell, WA.
The individual tournament was won by Daniel Wagner of Owasso, OK. This was the ninth time the individual tournament was won by a member of the national championship team. Also of note here is that Josh, Jesse and Daniel Wagner competed against each other in one of the semi-final matches. The quoting bee was won by Hannah Swanson of Grand Island, NE. The west won the East-West quiz (video available in the "memories" section), winning their 10th of 11 east-west quizzes. The boys won the Boy-Girl quiz winning their 4th of 5 boy-girl quizzes
Complete records for this event, including round by round scores and top quizzers, are available on this site. To view a larger image of the program cover, please select the image at left. Team photos are available for purchase from Larry Mullins. Following 2010 national finals, these images will become available on this site.