Longfellow Middle School had its A and B teams compete in the virtual 2021 Middle School National Championship Tournament between 112 teams from 22 states (and one international entrant) over the weekend, with its A team emerging as the second best in the tournament.
Quiz bowl teams include four students who use buzzers to answer questions about science, math, history, literature, mythology, geography, social science, current events, sports and popular culture.
The A team consisted of Deven Hagen, Abigail Lee, Ryan McKenzie and Anthony Zhao. The B team consisted of Aarushi Kanigicherla, Hudson Keeler, Edward Lin and Sarah Trainer. The teams were coached by Eugene Huang.
Longfellow entered two of the five Virginia teams competing at the national championship.
Longfellow A began the preliminary rounds with a five-game winning streak, in which they defeated schools from California, Tennessee; Alabama, Georgia and Seoul, South Korea, qualifying them for the playoffs. Longfellow B began the preliminary rounds with a three-game winning streak, in which they defeated three schools from Texas, also helping them qualify for the playoffs.
Longfellow A’s shot at the title ended when they lost to the eventual champions, Churchill A from Carmichael, California in round 20. They finished in second place in the competition overall.
Longfellow B was on the brink of elimination when they defeated Herberger from Glendale, Arizona in round 14 to stay alive. Unfortunately, they lost to Challenger-Strawberry Park A from San Jose, California, ending their shot at the title. They finished in 10th place overall.
Hagen of the A team was honored as an All-Star for correctly answering 71 “toss up” questions — 42 of them for “power,” which means he answered them so early he earned points.
The final two matches of the playoffs, featuring Longfellow, Churchill, and Burleigh Manor Middle School of Maryland were recorded and are available for viewing at on YouTube.