Regis Science Bowl Storms Nationals

Above: The Regis Team receives the National Science Bowl's 3rd place trophy from Dr. Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy. Pictured from left to right: Mr. Frank Barona, Joseph Taglic '14, Christopher Hillenbrand '15, Dr. Ernest Moniz, Matthew O'Gorman '14, David Boak '15, and Ryan Hall '15.


The May 2014 Issue of The Owl, Regis High School's student newspaper, published a story on the Regis Science Bowl Team that recently took third place in the 2014 National Science Bowl Competition. Below is a reprint of that story.

By David Boak ’15

The score is 78 to 90, with Thomas Jefferson High School in the lead. It’s the 25th and final question of the round. It’s still possible for the Regians to win, but to do so they must correctly answer the four-point toss-up and the ten-point bonus. The judge begins: “Math. Toss-Up. Short Answer. What is the sum of the first twenty positive integers?” A brief moment of silence is followed by a loud buzz from Thomas Jefferson. “234.” They are incorrect, and silence resumes. One second before time runs out, Regis buzzes in. “210.” “Correct,” replies the judge, before reading the bonus. “Give the equation in slope-intercept form for the slant asymptote of the function f(x) = (x2 + 8x + 6) / (x + 4).” After a brief discussion among the team members, the captain answers ” y = x + 12″. One tense moment later, the judge again replies, “Correct,” and the whole team rejoices. This was just one of the many tense rounds that the team of Joe Taglic ‘14, Matt O’Gorman ‘14, Chris Hillenbrand ‘15, Ryan Hall ‘15, and David Boak ‘15 won on its road to third place in the 2014 National Science Bowl Competition.

The rise of Science Bowl at Regis is without a doubt impressive; two years ago, the team did not even exist. Formed in late 2012 by Joseph Taglic and Chris Hillenbrand, the team had little experience when it first competed in the 2013 New York City National Qualifiers tournament, and lost to returning champion Hunter College High School in the final round. The tides, however, had turned in 2014. After 15 arduous rounds of game play and delays that would make a Hearn tournament seem efficient, Regis emerged victorious over Hunter and earned a trip to Washington DC, paid for in full by the Department of Energy.

Going in to Nationals, most of the team was cautiously optimistic. “We did not know the level of competition, and therefore what to expect.  We would have been happy to win one round—our goal was just to represent ourselves well and make a respectable showing,” says team moderator Mr. Barona. The first round dampened hopes though: the final score was 212 for Montgomery Blair High School to 94 for Regis. “We were a little concerned about our chances to do well at the tournament when we lost our first match to Montgomery Blair HS from Maryland,” said Joe Taglic, “but realized after beating University High School from California that we actually had a shot at advancing.” Taglic was indeed correct, and the team advanced to the double-elimination rounds after winning their next seven rounds to finish preliminaries with a 7-1 record. Regis advanced along the winners bracket, until reaching the final round against Mira Loma High School from Sacramento, California. Regis lost a narrow defeat, but then faced off against Westview High School from Oregon for a chance to have a rematch against Mira Loma in the finals. After double overtime, though, the Regis Science Bowl lost by the small margin of 16 points, ending its run in third place.

In addition to the excellent competition, the team had a lot of fun. Staying at the National Youth 4-H Center in the suburb Chevy Chase, Maryland (no connection to the actor), the team was provided an all-expense paid trip to the D.C. area. The first night, they visited several of the monuments, including the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. On Saturday, they traveled to the National Mall to visit the Smithsonian Museums. The meals were also quite enjoyable, with a fully stocked dessert bar and soft serve machine. Best of all though, the center had a recreation room filled with billiards, foosball, and air hockey tables. The team hopes to return next year, not only for the free Frisbee but also for another shot at first place.

Posted: 6/13/14