(from left) Whitney Gaston-Loyd, Dave Fields, John Carter, Tom Cunningham (host in red), Charlotte Favors, Jasmine Ayatey, and Jharrayne McKnight pose with trophies at southwest regional tournament at the Honda Campus All- Star Challenge in Prairie View, Texas.
On Saturday, four representatives of Grambling State University swept aside opposing teams, earning the first place title and an automatic trip to the national championship in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge.
To qualify for the championship, which will be held in March in Torrance, Calif., the Grambling State Academic Quiz Bowl Team had to win the Southwest regional, competing against nine teams, including Prairie View A&M, Xavier University, and Fisk University, among others.
The teams were split into two divisions, separated into two rooms with five teams in each room. Grambling’s team was in a room with defending champion Fisk University. After sweeping through the teams and beating Fisk, GSU’s Quiz Bowl Team was on its way to the playoffs. Competing team members included Whitney Gaston-Loyd, a senior mass communication major; John Carter, a sophomore history major; Jasmine Ayatey, a sophomore elementary education major; and Dave Fields, a junior nursing major.
The top two teams from each room advanced to compete in a faceoff of the best teams in the region: Houston- Tillotson, PrairieViewA&M, Xavier and GSU.
“We had to beat PV A&M to win the championship,” said Fields, the team captain, who is from Mililani, Hawaii. “There are about 70 teams competing for 48 spots to go to the grand championship in California, and because we won the regional title we won an automatic bid to go.”
Once they are there, they are playing for $50,000, which all goes back into the university. Last year, Grambling’s team made it to the playoffs, but lost in the last of the final rounds and was sent home with $6,000 for its efforts.
At the regional Quiz Bowl, all types of questions were asked, from “What does a cell contain?” to “What is the name of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter?” Categories ranged from Sherlock Holmes to science and pop culture and so on.
Fields said he was the only returning member because everyone else from last year’s team had graduated.
“This year was better because everyone was willing to come to practice,” he said. “We did it three times a week, and they also put up with me and my bad attitude.”
Also they had the help of two club members, Bello Ahmadou and Jharrayne McKnight, who helped them prepare during practice as far as scrimmaging and moral support.
Anyone interested in joining the Academic Quiz Bowl Team should contact Charlette Favors at 274-3334 or email gram- firstname.lastname@example.org.