Buzzer Beaters

Zimbabwe (HSNCT: May 26, 2013)


Allan Sadun, Roger Cain, Arthur Lee, and Weiser (from left to right) listen to the the bonus parts moments after Weiser’s buzz

LASA trailed Missouri’s Ladue Horton Watkins 440-415 going into the final tossup at the 2013 HSNCT in Atlanta. Junior Nathan Weiser won for his teammates the opportunity to win the National Championship on the subsequent bonus with the answer “Zimbabwe.” LASA’s 455-440 victory was recapped on the TQBA webpage and was commemorated in the 2013 Texas Quiz Bowl Camp poem:

Much have I buzzed in the Lone Star State
And many goodly sets and tourneys seen
Round many question packets have I been
And with my buzzer awaited my fate
Oft of one fabled camp had I been told
That deep brow’d Romero ruled as his demesne
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till storied Tradition did I behold
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like bold Weiser, when he did surmise
The answer was zimbabwe—and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surprise
joyous, knowing LASA would finally win

Andromeda (TQBC: May 3, 2015)


Dennis Ugolini reads at bonus during the 2013 TQBA Championship Final at the Village School as St. John’s Claire Jones, Carlo De Guzman, Devin Lahoti, and George Davies (from left to right) listen

In round 8 of the 14th annual Texas Quiz Bowl Championship perennial powers St. John’s and Bellaire squared off in a match interrupted by a fire alarm (see: Kitchen Fires & Evacuations). When they left the building, Bellaire had built a significant lead. When they returned the St. John’s crew came storming back and answered the last four tossups to win 225-215. The last of the four was by Claire Jones with the answer “Andromeda.” St. John’s would eventually win the tournament with a victory over Cistercian in the final.

Binomial Distribution (Winter Rodeo: January 19, 2013)


Collin Nadarajah, Mitchell Weldon, Vimal Konduri, and Lucas Skaras listen to Tossup #20 during the finals of the 2013 Winter Rodeo at Seven Lakes in Katy.

In the final of the 2013 Winter Rodeo, Cistercian raced out to a 160-0 lead before Harmony fought back to narrow the deficient to 180-150 at halftime. The two teams went back and forth in the second half and Harmony took its first lead at 290-285 after tossup 19 before Mitchell Weldon’s buzz with “Binomial Distribution” clinched the 325-290 victory for Cistercian.

Homestead Strike (TQBC: March 12, 2011)


Daniel Chupin, Benji Nguyen, Thomas Littrell, and Aaron Pellowski after the final of the 2011 Texas Quiz Bowl Championship at Seven Lakes in Katy.

In 2011 both LASA and Seven Lakes were ranked among the top 10 in the nation.  The two teams went undefeated on this day against the rest of the field and faced each other in a tense set of three matches. After splitting the first two, the final match came went back and forth until a tossup 19 “Homestead Strike” buzz by Thomas Littrell sealed what would be a 350-285 victory for LASA. In May of that year LASA would finish 2nd and Seven Lakes 8th at the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament in Atlanta.

Caesar and Cleopatra (ACF Nationals: April 1, 2006)


The Texas A&M team of Chris Romero, Susan Mitchell, Candace Benefiel, and Trey Morris (from left to right) celebrating after their ACF Nationals victory on May 1, 2006 at the University of Michigan.

Though not an official TQBA event, ACF Nationals 2006 marked an important milestone for TQBA’s founding staff. That spring the Texas A&M Quiz Bowl team was playing in their last official collegiate national championship event at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Around 9:30 a.m. the A&M squad of Chris Romero, Susan Mitchell, Trey Morris, and Candace Benefiel lost their first match of the day 205-210 to the home Michigan squad on a tossup 20 “Paris Commune” buzz by Adam Kemezis. The A&M squad went undefeated through the rest of the preliminaries and playoffs and had to face Michigan again in the final. After losing the first game of the final to Michigan, the tournament’s deciding game came down to tossup 20 with the Texas team down 145-150. At approximately 10:30 p.m. the Aggies were victorious after Candace Benefiel correctly answered “Caesar and Cleopatra” (by George Bernard Shaw).

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