28th Annual GUSD Scholastic Bowl ends in close finish

A ferocious clash between high school intellects


Urielle Corcuera

Clark’s students quickly answer back.

On March 5, the 28th annual Glendale Unified School District’s Scholastic Bowl competition ended with an exciting final round. All eyes were focused on two teams. One last question determined the placement of each team. For Glendale High School, it was obvious, with a score of 67, that the team could not be taken down. However, Clark Magnet High School, with a score of 59, had the possibility to tie with Crescenta Valley High School, with a score of 61.

Clarkies in attendance had their eyes fixed, scooting to the tips of their seats, showing their nervousness; they were anticipating this last question. Senior Mari Jrbashyan was excited for the upcoming category, literature. Jrbashyan’s hand was on the buzzer and her eyes were intently waiting for the quizmaster to finish stating the question. Her fingers circled the buzzer, waiting for a prime opportunity to strike.

As Fritz Coleman, a veteran KNBC weatherman and this year’s quizmaster, barely finished his question, Jrbashyan immediately shouted the answer after the judges called on her. However, the judges were confused with Jrbashyan’s answer, looking at one another to discuss if she had the answer right. Junior Brijal Shah bit her bottom lip and junior Daniel Rostamloo continuously twitched his legs, shaking the tablecloth and demonstrating to the audience how imperative these points are were. As a result, the entire Clark audience began pleading for Jrbashyan to have the right answer.

After the judges’ discussion, the quizmaster looked at Clark’s team to announce the conclusion. “No, I am sorry Clark Magnet, that is not the right answer,” Coleman said.

A sudden silence instantly followed Jrbashyan’s answer after the Clark audience realized she had got the answer wrong. Without any team answering, no points were given and the competition ended. Clark Magnet High School ended up in third place, an improvement from their last place finish last year. Hoover High School placed fourth place, Crescenta Valley High School placed second, and Glendale High School won the Scholastic Bowl.

However, GHS’s mighty triumph looked different during the beginning stages of the competition. Beginning the competition, Coleman announced the ranking for the essay prompt, a prerequisite that began competition, giving points to high school teams based on their essay scores. Crescenta Valley High School, for the second-time in a row, received the highest total score of 35, while Clark Magnet High School, second, earned a score of 32. Hoover High School was third, with a score of 31; and Glendale High School began at the bottom with a score of 30.

During the first round of the competition, team members could collaborate before responding to the questions and display their answer on a piece of paper for the judges and audience to see. The competition quickly commenced with a challenging first question. The stage was silent and none of the competitors answered. As a result for not answering, the competitors would not lose a point; however, getting the answer wrong counted as a point deduction.

As the second, third, fourth even 20th question was asked, CVHS’s students quickly dominated the scoreboard, accumulating 61 points, while other schools were approximately 20 points behind. It looked like the Crescenta Valley High School would win the entire competition.

However, the second and final round offered a substitution swap with a member. For the CMHS team, junior Emily Woods was switched out for Rostamloo.

In the second and final round of the competition, which involved team members using buzzers to signal that they were ready to answer, the first team member to hit to buzzer could answer, but was not permitted to confer with other team members. Failure to answer within three seconds or correctly answer resulted in a point loss for the team.

With the member swap, the last rounds of the competition proved to be more interesting as Glendale and Clark teams dominated the arena, correctly answering most math and social studies questions. This portion of the competition team scores, except for the CVHS team, which fell behind in the second portion. This gave the opportunity for other schools to catch up to overtake CVHS.

“This was a tough competition,” Shah said. “The other schools kept us on edge the whole time. But I had fun and I enjoyed the adrenaline rush.”