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Pomona College Takes Sixth in College Bowl National Championship, Sophomore Named to All-Star Team

Students from Pomona College correctly answered a range of questions in the fast-paced trivia competition College Bowl to take sixth place in the 2008 National College Bowl Championship, held April 25-27, at Macalester College in Minnesota.

From a field of 16 teams and more than 70 players, Pomona College sophomore Ben Cheney ranked seventh in the overall competition and was named to the All-Star Team. Pomona freshman Derek Schaible ranked 14th.

Questions during the tournament ranged from current events and pop culture to science, history, geography and literature. During the round-robin phase, the Pomona College team beat the defending national champions University of Minnesota (455-225), as well as teams from Georgetown, University of Wisconsin, Ball State, Providence College, Western Oregon, Arizona State, University of Maryland - Baltimore County, Seton Hall and Rice. They lost to the University of Rochester, Washington University - St. Louis and Ohio State (in overtime). In the last semi-final round to determine who advanced to the finals, Pomona lost to the University of New Mexico.

The University of Rochester won the national championship, followed by the University of New Mexico, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and Ohio State University. The University of Washington - St. Louis came in fifth.

The Pomona College team consisted of Benjamin Cheney ‘ 10 from Cumberland, ME; Daniel Carlton ’11 from Winchester, VA; Derek Schaible ’11 from St. Paul, MN; Michael Thompson ’10, an Asian Studies major from Seattle; and Sneha Vakamudi ’08, a chemistry major from Sugar Land, TX.

College Bowl, "The Varsity Sport of the Mind,” has a long history on radio and television, and college campuses. Beginning as a radio game show in 1953, it had an 11-year run on network television. Since 1977, regional and annual competitions have been held on college campuses. 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.

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.