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College Bowl Captures National Titles

By Eric Richard
Staff Reporter

MIT's College Bowl team garnered its first national title in the College Bowl national championship last weekend, defeating Stanford in two consecutive matches for the championship. The team consisted of captain James P. Sarvis '93, Eric S. Tentarelli '95, Kyle Pope '92, Larry W. Hunter G, and Daniel A. LaGattuta G.

The competition, held at George Washington University, featured a 15-round tournament to determine which teams qualified for the final round. After the round robin competition, the MIT team had an 11-4 record, second to Stanford's 12-3 mark.

Going into the final round, MIT was tied with both Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, forcing the use of cumulative points to make a selection. MIT's 4,210 points edged out Penn by 15 points and surpassed Cornell's 4,160 points.

Ted E. Johnson, co-coach of the team, described the win as "a really nice honor for a school like MIT. It shows that students have a broad range of knowledge. ... I think it was really great. It was really disappointing in 1990 to lose to the University of Chicago [in the national finals], and this really made up for it."

The team's alternate, Pope, who participated in two of the team's 15 round robin matches, said "It was great. It was very challenging, and I am glad we came out on top."

"Stanford had been protesting a lot during its matches. ... A lot of people seemed to be pulling for us [in the final round]," Pope said.

Johnson added, "It is always nice to beat Stanford."

In addition to its first place team finish, MIT was represented by two contestants on the All Star Team. LaGattuta and Hunter, both students in the Sloan School of Management, were voted to the All Star Team by the players of all the teams present. Hunter was also named to the National All-Star Team in 1990.

This year's team qualified for the national competition with a perfect record in the International New England Regional Recreation Tournament, held Feb. 29 at Pittsburgh State University. The team defeated Brandeis University in the final round. It was the third time in five years that MIT qualified to compete in the national tournament.

The Student Center Committee sponsored a tournament during Independent Activities Period to determine who would be on the regional team. After the SCC-sponsored event, the members of the winning team and the all-stars from the MIT games are considered for advancement.

"We try to select a team with a good mixture. We have to have some people with knowledge of current events, some with knowledge of politics, and some with a knowledge of science and math," Johnson explained. He emphasized the importance of diversity in the team's strengths, saying, "If two members have the same strengths, we must chose between the two."

The team prepared for the competition by working on weekly "assignments" provided by Johnson and fellow coach James Bales PhD '90, a national All-Star for MIT in 1990. These tasks included keeping up-to-date on current affairs and memorizing the names of kings of England, presidents, and representatives. "It is a lot of basics. After competing for so many years, you get to know what is important," Johnson said.