Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl

2016-2017 finals press release

Essex's (from left) Nathan Wu, Grace Lu, Alex He, Nick Norton, Sam Feehan, Henry Wu and oach David Rome show off their trophies after beating Mt. Mansfield 430-310 to win the Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl championship at the University of Vermont on March 25th.

Essex High School Secures Seventh Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl championship

BURLINGTON -- Essex High School captured the state high school academic competition championship on Saturday, March 25th, prevailing in the final rounds of the Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl at the University of Vermont.

Essex pulled away from Mt. Mansfield Union High School for a 430-310 victory in the title match of the question-and-answer competition. It was Essex's record-tying seventh state championship overall and its fourth in the last five years.

Juniors Nick Norton, Alex He and Sam Feehan, sophomore Grace Lu, and freshmen Henry Wu and Nathan Wu were the competing students for Essex, which earns an all-expenses-paid trip to represent Vermont at the NAQT National Championship Tournament in Atlanta on Memorial Day weekend.

The early stages of the championship went back and forth, with Essex opening an 80-15 lead before MMU drew to within 145-115 at the end of the first of three rounds of competition. The Cougars then correctly answered six of the first eight questions in the last round to surge ahead, 210-195, but Essex responded with an 80-10 run to reclaim the lead and steadily drew away after leading 310-270 with about four minutes left.

"I'm very proud of my students," said Essex coach David Rome, whose team also defeated Middlebury 460-280 in the semifinals. "They worked really hard all year and played two excellent teams in Middlebury and MMU. Hats of to both of them and their coaches."

Mt. Mansfield's runner-up finish capped a stellar performance that saw the Cougars surge from the Medlar Cup -- the tournament's second-chance competition -- by winning five straight matches. MMU rolled to the Medlar Cup crown with victories over BFA-St. Albans, South Burlington and Burr and Burton before topping Hanover, 405-315, in the quarterfinals and ousting defending champion Burlington, 345-290, in the semifinals.

The other quarterfinals saw Middlebury outslug Champlain Valley 385-335 and Burlington outlast Burr and Burton, 370-255.

The Scholars' Bowl is a school year-long competition that features regional tournaments in the fall and playoffs after the new year. Saturday's 12 participants qualified by winning at least three of their five matches on the first day of the playoffs on January 28.

The Vermont Chapter of the National Education Association sponsors the Scholars' Bowl, which has been testing the state's brightest high school students since the 1983-84 school year. To find out more about our organization, visit our website at

All the scores from Saturday's finals:

Medlar Cup quarterfinals
South Burlington 465, BFA-Fairfax 85
Burr and Burton 375, St. Johnsbury 240
Mt. Mansfield 425, BFA-St. Albans 190

Medlar Cup semifinals
Mt. Mansfield 370, South Burlington 275
Burr and Burton 300, Montpelier 215

Medlar Cup final
Mt. Mansfield 370, Burr and Burr 270

Overall quarterfinals
Burlington 370, Burr and Burton 255
Mt. Mansfield 405, Hanover 315
Middlebury 385, Champlain Valley 335

Overall semifinals
Essex 460, Middlebury 280
Mt. Mansfield 345, Burlington 290

State Championship
Essex 430, Mt. Mansfield 310

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