Cardinal Newman Students Compete In National Academic Competition

Cardinal Newman eighth graders Jonah Reisenauer and Jack Seezen and seventh graders Landon Guzman, Ralph Johnson, Connor Tomblin, and Tyson Verver recently took a trip with Coach Sean Briody to Orlando, Florida, to compete in the 2022 International Academic Competitions National Championships, held at the Hyatt Regency Orlando from June 17 to 20. CN had representation in the History, Geography, and Science Bees, as well as the History Bowl team competition.

More than 1,200 students were present from 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and even Poland! This was the first time that any Cardinal Newman students had competed in a “normal” (post-Covid) national tournament, and they did an outstanding job.

After four rounds of competition over two days, Jonah Reisenauer and Jack Seezen made the first round of History Bee playoffs, earning plaques to celebrate their accomplishments.

Jack Seezen was a semifinalist in the National Science Bee, finishing tied for 13th place out of 96 eighth graders and earning himself a second plaque.

While no seventh graders advanced to the playoffs, Coach Briody said of their performance, “I really enjoyed watching everyone compete. There were some good buzzes for every student, and I can only imagine just how much our students will continue to shine as they get older and continue to pursue academic competitions.”

Of course the students had to take advantage of being in Florida, by making a pit stop at Universal Studios on Sunday evening, after attending mass at the Basilica of Mary, Queen of the Universe. Lots of fun was had by all!

In the National History Bowl on Monday, the Cardinals were up against some tough competition. First up was Nysmith B (VA). CN was in the lead from the first question, after a quick buzz from Jack Seezen identifying Henry VIII as the author of the anti-Luther pamphlet Defence of the Seven Sacraments, but lost a tough game 220-180. CN’s second opponent was the eventual fourth place finisher Westminster (GA). While the Cardinals did not achieve victory in this match, they did put up 170 points to Westminster’s 300, which is an excellent total against a significantly more experienced team.

Down 0-2, the Cardinals did not give up. They faced Team Rivers in Round 3, soundly defeating them 220-160. After a quick lunch break at Shake Shack, the Cards came back with a bang, winning their next three games against Trinity Prep A (260-60), Fort Settlement (200-120), and St. James Episcopal B (170-110), securing for our school a playoff spot.

Although Cardinal Newman lost its first playoff match to eventual fifth-place finisher Burleigh Manor Middle School (MD), the team earned many compliments from coaches, spectators, and moderators on its way to a 12th place finish nationally among middle school teams.

Most importantly, these young students have made Cardinal Newman history through their incredible showing. We are so proud of you! Well done!