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Pomona College Wins College Bowl Regional Competition, Advances to Nationals

Students from Pomona College correctly answered questions on topics ranging from current events and pop culture to science, history, geography and literature in the fast-paced trivia competition College Bowl to win the CA-HI-NV regional tournament, held Feb. 23-24 in Sacramento. The four-person Pomona team now advances to the College Bowl championship, April 25-27, 2008, in Minnesota.

The Pomona College team won the regional final by a decisive score of 240 to 115 over Cal State Sacramento. In the preceding playoffs, Pomona beat top-seeded USC, with a score of 345 to 165, and Cal State Sacramento, with a score of 265 to 160. UC Davis was also among the top four in the double elimination playoff. The other competitors were Cal State Fresno, Cal State Long Beach, UC San Diego, and the University of Hawaii.

College Bowl, "The Varsity Sport of the Mind,” has a long history on radio and television, and on college campuses across the nation. Beginning as a radio game show in 1953, it had an 11-year run on network television. The regional and annual competitions have been held on college campuses since 1977. From 1979 to 1982, CBS radio aired regular and post-season competition. In England, the program is known as University Challenge and has been on air from 1961-1988 and again since 1995, currently on BBC. College Bowl provides an arena for the fastest minds to demonstrate their broad range of knowledge in competition.

During the 1961-62 television season, a Pomona College team retired as a five-time champion. Since then, Pomona won the 1988-89 regional playoff, placed second in the 1991-92 and 2005-06 regional events, and placed third in the 2001-02 regional.

Selection for the 2008 Pomona College Bowl team began with a campus-wide competition last fall. Fifteen teams entered the event. Members of the winning team, Team Rocket, plus the top five players from other teams were chosen for the varsity team. Prior to the regional event, those nine players selected the five people, with the greatest speed and variety of knowledge, to attend the regional event.

The winning Pomona team consisted of Daniel Carlton ’11, from Winchester, VA; Derek Schaible ’11, from St. Paul, MN; Michael Thompson ’10 from Seattle, WA; and Sneha Vakamudi ’08, from Sugar Land, TX. The larger varsity team also included Tiffany Chan ‘11, Ben Cheney ’10 (selected for the regional event but unable to attend), Frank Langan ‘11, Elizabeth Levin ‘08, and Daniel Poore ‘11.