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Quizbowl at the University of Washington

quizbowl team logo
quizbowl team logo

Quizbowl at UW

Past Results

  1. Discord Era (2020-Present)
  2. Handover Era (2015-2020)
  3. Bentley Era (2008-2014)
  4. CBI Era (1997-2008)
  5. Game Show Era (1959-1988)

Discord Era (2020-Present)

Quizbowl at the 2023 Senior Sendoff (Senior Coby Tran is lying across the laps of the leaving officers: Kaden Lee, Elliana Wejak, Kevin Kodama, and Fischer Tsai from left to right)

Club Leaders: Kevin Kodama, Elliana Wejak, Kaden Lee, Vikshar Athreya, Fischer Tsai, Jayden Murphy, Ella L'Heureux, Catherine Welch

The Discord Era of the quizbowl team at UW started during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of 2020, the club president position unexpectedly went to Kevin Kodama, a formerly active high school player from Illinois. During this time, the club's focus shifted from traditional in-person quizbowl to club outreach and online events. Club membership grew rapidly during this time, attracting 20-30 members at a typical practice. The club also gained some visibility when Kaden Lee appeared on Jeopardy! and Shruthika Kandukuri, Ella L'Heureux, Jayden Murphy, and Catherine Welch appeared on the show College Bowl. In addition, the club became known for its significant proportion of bisexual club members. This era is ongoing.

2022-23 Season

President: Elliana Wejak

This year marked UW's return to traditional in-person quizbowl with the 2023 Northwest SCT. There was also a rise in the number of in-person social events, most notably the quarterly Hot People Packet. UW sent two different teams to national championships this season (UCT and ICT) and hosted its first in-person tournament since the pandemic. The year also saw a gradual transfer of power to a younger officer core, led by Ella L'Heureux.

2021-22 Season

President: Kevin Kodama

Although some tournaments were back in-person after the pandemic, the sparse Northwest circuit struggled to create enthusiasm for high school and college tournament travel. As a result, UW spent most of the year developing internally as the club continued to grow. UW hosted some of its first semi-formal scrimmage tournaments during this year. While most of the club members from the previous season did not return, UW attracted a large core of enthusiastic new players. This culminated in the 2022 SCT, to which UW sent five teams.

2020-21 Season

President: Vikshar Athreya (2020); Kevin Kodama (2021)

The entirety of the 2020-21 season was online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the Northwest had so few teams, many tournaments combined the schools on the coast into a unified "West" region. In December, Vikshar Athreya stepped away from quizbowl and former Illinois high school player Kevin Kodama became president. These dramatic shake-ups created a lot of uncertainty for the club's future. However, the UW club grew rapidly during this period, nearly tripling in size. The online season also meant that UW had the opportunity to participate in a large number of novice tournaments. UW was able to send 19 players to IO Saturnalia, one of the largest turnouts in club history. On the hosting side, UW switched to using housewrites for its high school tournaments. UW hosted the largest tournament in Northwest history, UW Winter Classic, as well as the UW Spring Classic. UW also finished in the top half of the field at the competitive Southeast-Midwest Housewrite 2. The traditional playoffs for this year were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Handover Era (2015-2020)

Quizbowl at 2016 ACF Regionals (from left to right: Hayley Thompson, Mariko Roths, Jamie van Wagenen, UC Davis Quizbowl Team)

Club Leaders: Vikshar Athreya, Jamie Van Wagenen, Michael Land, Mike Bentley

During this era, UW gradually shifted from a grad student club to an undergraduate club. While still occasionally involved, longtime club leader Mike Bentley took a step back from club activities. A key figure in this transition was Vikshar Athreya, a former high school player from California who focused on greater tournament hosting and participation. Under Athreya and his predecessor Van Wagenen, UW eventually ramped up to hosting two middle school tournaments and two high school tourmaments per year. A full list of tournaments that UW hosted during this era can be found on this page. And despite the gradual loss of the grad student core that made up of most of its team in years past, UW put up some respectable finishes during this time. Most notably, UW landed a 26th place finish at 2017 ICT. This era ended when the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically shifted the trajectory of the club.

2019-20 Season

President: Vikshar Athreya

This season was a rebuilding year for UW, which was almost made up entirely of first and second year students. Vikshar Athreya became president of the club after taking over from Jamie Van Wagenen. Midway through the year, future president Kevin Kodama temporarily joined the club. UW started the playoff season strong by clearing the field in the NAQT Northwest SCT, but the season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2018-19 Season

President: Jamie Van Wagenen

During a rebuilding year for the Pacific Northwest, UW retained all the members from the SCT-winning team of the previous year while gaining a few experienced freshmen, including future president Vikshar Athreya. Senior Alex Van De Poel was recommended for the hsquizbowl player poll in Miscellaneous/Geography/Current Events. UW hosted an impressive four K-12 tournaments in this year: Washington Middle School Fall Classic, Washington Fall Classic, Washington Spring Classic, and Washington Middle School Spring Classic.

2017-18 Season

President: Jamie Van Wagenen

In 2018, UW gained enough hosting capabilities to host a high school tournament every year. The Washington Fall Classic attracted 12 teams from across multiple states this year, its highest turnout since the 2011-12 season. UW also began hosting middle school tournaments with the Washington Middle School Spring Classic.

2016-17 Season

President: Jamie Van Wagenen

In this season, Jamie Van Wagenen became president. UW expanded its tournament participation during this season, returning to ICT for the first time since the Bentley era. In addition, UW traveled to Boise State for its first out-of-state SCT since 2012. (SCT had been on hiatus for the previous two years since UW was unable to host.)

2015-16 Season

President: Michael Land

This was a relatively quiet year for the club. One event of note was the QANTA demonstration, in which Ken Jennings played quizbowl against a robot in front of an audience. Quizbowl was also unofficially active in the pub trivia scene, winning around $200 total and donating it to an animal shelter.

2014-15 Season

President: Michael Land

Michael Land became president of the club in this year, a rebuilding year during which UW was still able to achieve notable tournament results. This season was the first year an out-of-state high school travelled to UW for a tournament: Westview from Oregon. UW also started hosting the Winter Classic again this year after a two-year hiatus.

Bentley Era (2008-2014)

Quizbowl in 2012-13 (from front to back: Carolyn Woods, Joelle Smart, Matthew Sorenson, Stephen Trent, Michael Land, Hiram Munn, Willa Middaugh; moderator: Colin McNamara)

Club Leaders: Mike Bentley, Joelle Smart, Brittany Clark

UW was absent from quizbowl for most of the 2000s, but Maryland alumni Mike Bentley and Brittany Clark led a push to bring the team into the quizbowl circuit in 2008. The team first started to expand beyond the region in 2010, when it traveled to Stanford for T-Party and participated in the 2010 ICT. UW gradually upped its tournament participation over these years and put up better finished at regional tournaments. This culiminated in UW's national success in 2014, when it won the pre-nats tournament Cane Ridge Revival and finished with a best-ever 9th place at ACF Nationals. During this time, the team was mostly dominated by grad students. UW also started doing outreach to local high schools during this era, which culminated in the successful UW NAQT Classic series (which lasted until the COVID-19 pandemic). You can find the full list of tournaments played during this era on this page and a full list of tournaments that UW hosted on this page. This era ended when Mike Bentley ended his career as an active UW player.

2013-14 Season

President: Joelle Smart

This was perhaps UW's most successful competitive season as a club. The team had a number of impressive finishes during this season, culminating in a surprise top ten finish at ACF Nationals.

2012-13 Season

President: Joelle Smart

In this season, Joelle Smart became president of the club. This season saw a definite increase in tournament participation from the club. UW fielded a relatively strong DII team this year, which eventually finished 20th at the Intercollegiate Championship Tournament.

2011-12 Season

Coach: Mike Bentley

During this season, UW assembled a promising core of undergraduate players. This was perhaps the first season during which an undergraduate team played a large role at the club. UW played relatively few tournaments this year, but it laid the foundation for more participation in future years.

2010-11 Season

Coach: Mike Bentley

This was a relatively quiet year for the club. The team again participated in SCT but not much else. Notably, this was the first season in which future president Joelle Smart played for the club.

2009-10 Season

This was a relatively quiet year for the UW club. The team participated in SCT but not much else, presumably still getting the club in shape for non-CBI operations.

Coach: Mike Bentley

2008-09 Season

Coach: Mike Bentley

This season kicked off the start of modern quizbowl at the University of Washington. A pair of incoming grad students, Mike and Brittany Bentley, sent UW to its first quizbowl tournament in years and began the process of converting the club from an exclusively CBI team into a proper quizbowl team.

CBI Era (1997-2008)

Kitty Willis, longtime quizbowl advisor

Club Leaders: Kitty Willis, Andy Greeley, Lincoln Johnson

The quizbowl team at UW was founded in 1997 and has been in continuous operation since then. This particular era was primarily devoted to the related collegiate activity College Bowl, though there was also some quizbowl participation. Some information about this stage of the club can be found in this Daily article, which profiles Kitty Willis, the coach of UW's College Bowl team from 1997 to 2007. According to the article, HUB Director Lincoln Johnson decided to bring back the old College Bowl club when he came to UW in 1997, appointing Kitty Willis as coach. From this point forward, the club has been in continuous operation up to the present day. UW also hosted the 2005 NCT, although they did not compete. UW's full College Bowl history can be found on this page. UW also participated in SCT a few times, but they stopped participating after 2002 until the Bentley Era. During UW's inactive years, the Northwest SCT was dominated by UBC and Simon Fraser. This era ended when Mike Bentley took over the reins of the club, transitioning it away from College Bowl and towards modern quizbowl.

2001-02 Season

Coach: Kitty Willis

2000-01 Season

Coach: Kitty Willis

1999-00 Season

Coach: Kitty Willis

Game Show Era (1959-1988)

Robert Entenmann, captain of the 1967-68 UW College Bowl team

Club Leaders: Robert Entenmann

While there was no formally organized quizbowl club at UW before 1988, UW appeared on the nationally televised General Electric College Bowl three times during this time period. The team went winless during this time, losing to Colgate, Pomona, and Barnard College. UW's full College Bowl history can be found on this page. We know a bit more about UW's team during the 1967-68 season, as we were able to get in touch with the captain of that team: Robert Entenmann. The archival footage of UW on College Bowl is likely lost to time, although we know that UW was ahead against defending champs Barnard College going into the final round. The other members of the team were Randy Riggs, Peter Schotten, and Gary Vancil. You can listen to an interview conducted by then-president Kevin Kodama with Mr. Entenmann and modern College Bowl contestant Ella L'Heureux here.