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AHS HiQ team in the running for Sno-Isle championship
ARLINGTON After its home game for the season against Everett and Lake Stevens high schools in the AHS gymnasium Jan. 18, the Arlington High School HiQ team and its advisors expressed confidence that they could pull a repeat of last years season, winning first place in the Sno-Isle district.
Last year the AHS HiQ team ranked as division leader, bringing Snohomish and Island counties HiQ championship back to the AHS gymnasium and they also beat Lake Stevens and Meadowdale High School, then defending champions.
While AHS seniors Richard Gonzalez, Hang Nguyen and Krista Sparks are all seasoned veterans, with Gonzalez and Nguyen coming back for their second year in HiQ and Sparks returning for a third this season is a HiQ debut for freshman Eric McElroy, sophomore Tyler Gjersee, juniors Katie Nowlin and Rob Peiffle and senior Cindy Tsang.
AHS German teacher Ben Mendro, who advises the HiQ team alongside Spanish teacher Jane Joselow, expressed pride in his students.
They were far more prepared than the other two teams, Mendro said adding they were especially good in world history and Shakespearean literature. He singled out new team member Tsang as unbelievably good at math.
As a newcomer, McElroy admitted that hes had to adjust to the time limits and degrees of memorization required to answer the questions.
Theyre not interested in opinions, McElroy said, even though the questions frequently demand an ability to interpret material.
As an old hand, Gonzalez felt more confident than last year, even though this years batch of questions proved a lot harder.
Preparing for each competition includes reading history textbooks in chunks of 100 pages or more and researching the current events in each issue of Newsweek, among other strategies. Some of the team commit themselves to studying additional subjects, such as McElroys avid investigations into ancient Rome and the early Christian church.
Aside from learning more about topics in which theyre already interested, HiQ team members enjoy other benefits of their rigorous schedules of study.
The competitions give a sense of accomplishment, Gonzalez said.
It makes classes seem easier, Sparks added.
Mendro said the team is recovering from losses to graduation.
Our team lost Owen Robertson and Amanda Flick when they graduated last year. And Mitch Yunker, who had turned art history into his personal project, Mendro said. I was always confident when we went into an art history question, because if he didnt know the answer, then it was really obscure. So, were weaker in that one category this year, but otherwise, weve got eight equally strong people in the running for the championship.