Steamboat Springs If members of the Steamboat Springs High School Knowledge Bowl team were baseball players, they would have hit nearly .500 this season.
Coach Barb Tuchlinsky said Thursday that out of 1,300 total questions asked during months of Northwest Colorado regional competitions - against schools including Middle Park, North Park, Rangely and Moffat County - Steamboat answered 640 questions correctly.
"That means they have to be fast on the buzzers, too," Tuchlinsky said. "I've never seen that before."
The dominance earned Steamboat a first-place finish in the region and a trip to the state competition April 17 and 18 in Colorado Springs. The event brought 57 Knowledge Bowl teams from schools across the state to Colorado College for two days of academic and intellectual competitions.
Tuchlinsky said Steamboat finished 13th overall and fourth in Class 4A, a size division implemented by the Colorado High School Activities Association. Only teams from Fort Morgan, Pueblo East and Liberty High School in Colorado Springs topped Steamboat in the division.
Competing for Steamboat were senior Sam Chovan, juniors Charlie Stoddard and Anna Roder - "those three played every round," Tuchlinsky said - junior Sean Fairlie, sophomore Aiden Rohde and freshman Ryan Hogrefe.
"They did exceptionally well," Tuchlinsky said of the team, which performed particularly well in history, literature and math categories but missed the semifinal round by one spot.
Grand Junction High School won the tournament, its 12th Knowledge Bowl state title in 13 years.
Tuchlinsky described the two-day event, which included about 300 students competing in written and oral events, as "quite exciting and chaotic."
Just getting to the event proved to be a challenge for the Sailors, who got stuck outside the Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70 for hours because of traffic delays and nasty weather.
"It took us 10 hours to get to Colorado Springs," Tuchlinsky said.
The performance at state capped another strong season for the Knowledge Bowl team. The team will miss Chovan next year, Tuchlinsky said, but should benefit from several strong young players.
"I'm really looking forward to another great team next year," Tuchlinsky said.