Just a few months removed from its sixth-place finish in a state tournament last spring, the Steamboat Springs High School Knowledge Bowl team placed second in its first meet of the season.
Competing against 11 teams from four regional high schools, the Sailors ended Saturday's competition trailing only host Rangely.
The team performed admirably considering it lost five seniors from last year's squad to graduation, coach Barb Tuchlinsky said.
"They did great," Tuchlinsky said. "It's a great group."
The four-person team that competed in Rangely consisted of senior Ilya Grigoriev, sophomores Sarah Bockleman and Nathan Blair and freshman Austin Anderson. About eight Sailors practice with the team, but only four competed in the tournament.
The Knowledge Bowl team, which practices twice a week during lunch, took an early lead in the five-round competition by answering 46 of 60 written questions correctly. A team from Rangely pulled ahead after the first oral round, and the Sailors were able to hold onto second place throughout the remaining rounds.
Points in Knowledge Bowl competitions are awarded to teams based on their responses to questions ranging in subject area from literature to math to general trivia.
Knowledge Bowl meets are competitive, Tuchlinsky said, but not to the point where the outcome of a tournament overshadows the fun students have matching wits with opponents.
"The kids are very supportive of each other, even amongst the teams," Tuchlinsky said. "It isn't cutthroat, but they do take it seriously. It doesn't make or break their day; it's for fun."
The Sailors' Knowledge Bowl schedule includes three more regular-season meets followed by a regional competition in March. The winner of the regional competition will move on to a state tournament in May at Adams State College.
The team's next meet is Dec. 6 at North Park High School in Walden. Steamboat will host a meet Feb. 7 at the high school.
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