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Wasatch High JROTC academic bowl team takes second in US

(L-R) Luke Olson,
Wasatch High School Air Force Junior ROTC
(L-R) Luke Olson, Kevin Arostegui, Callie Wade, Aubrey Crumpton and Denise Harris pose with the trophy after winning second place at the JROTC Academic Bowl national championship.

Wasatch High Junior ROTC student-cadets took second place in the academic bowl national championship competition against military programs across the country.

For the second year in a row and second time in school history, a Wasatch High School four-student team made it to the JROTC Academic Bowl in Washington D.C.

Like last year, this year’s team of student-cadets took second place.

The competition format is similar to academic decathlon but with slightly different rules and material, and only for student programs with the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy.

They answer four rounds of eight questions. Wasatch High JROTC instructor Denise Harris said topics include history, literature, math and ACT-based questions.

"It's, like Jeopardy," Harris said, "First to the buzzer gets the answer. Unlike Jeopardy, you don't have to put in the form of a question.”

Harris said Springboro High School inf Ohio won in a tightly contested championship.

“The last question — number eight question in round four — whoever got it right was going to win,” she said. “They all knew the answer, but the other team buzzed in first, so yeah, we were this close to be the Air Force national champions. At least we came in second.”

More student-cadets at Wasatch competed in other competitions throughout the year before, but only one group of four could go to Nationals. That team included Kevin Arostegui, a rising senior at Wasatch High, rising juniors Aubrey Crumpton and Callie Wade, and rising sophomore Luke Olson.

With none of the competitors at Nationals this year graduating, Harris hopes the team will be back next year.

She also said she hopes more students will join the program.