Scholars Bowl claims victory at Seaman Invitational

Although bile’s main job is to help digestion, on Dec. 8, it served an entirely different purpose.

After the Scholars Bowl team was tied 60-60 with Lawrence Free State in the championship round, it came down to one question. Senior Vineet Kallanagowdar’s knowledge that bile is the thick brown and yellow-greenish fluid made by the liver clinched the team’s victory in the Seaman Invitational.

I felt so great to have won the final question”

— Senior Vineet Kallanagowdar

“I knew it immediately after the moderator said the word ‘liver,’” Kallanagowdar said. “I felt so great to have won the final question.”

Yet, the road to get to the championship was not easy. The tournament was divided into two pools of 10 teams. The top two teams from each pool would make the semifinals.

After going 8-1 in pool play with their only loss to Junction City by five points, the team qualified as the top seed out of their pool and would play the second seed from the other pool, Abilene.

“We were happy that we were the No. 1 seed,” Scholars Bowl sponsor Lindsey Dowell said. “We had never played Abilene before, though, so we didn’t know what to expect.”

The team went up early, and with just three questions remaining, they were up 30 points.

“A 30 point lead is a good position to be in with three questions left in the match,” junior Michael Navarro said. “And as long as we answered one of the three, we would secure our spot in the finals.”

Yet, Abilene came roaring back, rattling off three correct answers in a row to send the round to a tiebreaker question.

“I was nervous and anxious,” Dowell said. “But when they drew the tiebreaker category and it was math, I was confident they’d be able to win it.”

And win it they did. Senior captain Veronica Lyle came through with the crucial answer to send the team into the finals against Free State.

Lyle said it was “terrifying and exhilarating” to answer the tiebreaker question, but the team celebrated when the moderator announced that her answer was correct.

Again in the championship round, the team jumped out to an early lead. Yet, the team struggled in the middle of the round, failing to get five questions in a row, so with two questions left, Washburn Rural was up 60-40. They were in a similar position as the semifinal, but yet again, the round was tied up and headed to a tiebreaker.

With yet another tiebreaker, everything was on the line for us”

— Junior Michael Navarro

“With yet another tiebreaker, everything was on the line for us,” Navarro said.

Fortunately for the team, this is where Kallangowdar’s previous readings over liver cells and knowledge of bile secured the championship.

“It was awesome, particularly since the last two rounds were so close,” Lyle said.

The team’s best finish last year in tournaments was third and this win marks the team’s first victory in a tournament since 2013.

“In tournaments to come, I hope that we can perform just as well as we did [at the Seaman Invitational] and keep improving from there,” Navarro said.