Wesley Mathews Posts Third Best Score in National Quiz Tournament
Occidental senior Wesley Mathews of Birmingham, Ala., posted the third best individual score in the National Academic Quiz Tournament’s Division II competition held April 6-7 at Washington University in St. Louis.
Ninety-six players from 23 colleges and universities competed for the title.
In tallying 930 points, the Altamont School graduate and geology major answered 91 out of 97 questions correctly to help guide his three-man team to a 10th-place finish in this year’s competition. It was the first national appearance for Occidental after Mathews and teammates qualified to advance during west sectionals held in February at USC.
Teammates included freshman Josh Ludtke of Elwood, Ill., a graduate of Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Ill., and sophomore Paul Seeley of Canyon Country, Calif., a Canyon High School graduate. Both students are undeclared majors.
Tournament competitors faced an array of questions covering history, literature, the sciences, philosophy, music and the arts. Players hit a buzzer to answer questions during a competition that was divided into two equal halves lasting at least nine minutes each. Play ended if competitors answered the 28 “tossup” and bonus questions before time elapsed.
“Participating in the tournament was enjoyable in that it, like other tournaments, rewarded my love of factual knowledge, but it was especially enjoyable knowing that we were competing with some of the most intelligent players in the U.S.,” Mathews said. “The added prestige was part of the thrill.”
Occidental competed against teams that included Stanford, Princeton, UC Berkeley, Yale and New York University. Teams are placed in Division I or Division II based on tournament experience. Only teams that have competed at the national level can play in Division I.
The tournament is put on by National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC, which also sponsors competitions at the high school level.