The Fairmount High School Academic Olympic (Acalympic) team finished second in the Class b small division at the State Acalympic Competition in Bismarck, Tuesday, March 30.
“I don’t think any of us expected to get as far as we did, but it was nice. It was a good feeling to get close to winning,” Fairmount Acalympian Caiden Bernard said.
The team battled it out over 50 questions, 25 questions in the competitions regular and 25 questions in the regular round.
The main round had five categories of questions each with five questions. The categories were: English, science, math, social studies, electives and One point was awarded for each correct answer, and no points were removed for incorrect answers.
The three top-scoring teams in the main round advanced to their divisions’ lightning round. Scores from the regular round were not transferred to the lightning round.
Fairmount, Powers Lake and Central Valley advanced to the Class b lightning round with seven, eight and 10 points, respectively.
“Math and science was kind of a weak point, but we did good in electives and the current events categories,” Bernard said.
In the lightning round, 25 more questions were posed on math, science, current events, history and more. Teams had 10 seconds to answer a question. Two points were awarded for each correct answer and one point deducted for each incorrect answer.
The lightning round was as much a mental game as it was physical, it was important to wait for the host to finish a question before pulling the trigger too early and buzzing in, Acalympian Caleb Kleveland said.
It was a hard-fought battle of the brains between the three teams, but Central Valley ultimately took home the win against Fairmount and Powers Lake.
Fairmount had previously defeated Hankinson by one point in the Southeast Region Acalympics competition March 16 to advance to the state competition.
“They (the questions) were definitely a lot more challenging, some of them none of us had any idea what we should answer with,” Kleveland said.
After the competition, the team got a tour of Bismarck and met with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
“It was fun, it was a nice little vacation away from school, even though we were going to a competition which was asking school-related questions, but it was fun,” Kleveland said.