Monroe Bearcats Claim Three-Peat Victory in Hi-Q State Championship

Monroe Bearcats Claim Three-Peat Victory in Hi-Q State Championship

In the recent 49th annual Hi-Q state championship at Stanwood High School, the Monroe Bearcats showcased their expertise, claiming a "three-peat" victory as the reigning state champions against Stanwood High School and Archbishop Murphy High School.

The championship match began with all three teams correctly answering current events questions, and collectively answering two of the three questions in American history.  Biology proved tougher, with the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats scoring the only point.  The sports question (in baseball this year) stumped all three teams, although a few voices in the audience provided the right answer at emcee Jill Siano's invitation.  Thereafter, the Bearcats demonstrated their prowess, scoring points in all four remaining first half categories for a halftime total of 29 to 6 for Archbishop Murphy and 5 for Stanwood.

The second half began with both Stanwood and Archbishop Murphy gaining ground in chemistry.  Archbishop Murphy tallied 5 points in art history, but Monroe swept the "team choice" category to extend its lead.  Stanwood and Archbishop Murphy both answered correctly in physics, but Monroe's question (seeking the term "armature") stumped everybody.  After all three teams correctly fielded questions in American government, Stanwood and Monroe earned points in world history.  For the last question, always a math toss-up, Monroe was quickest to solve a Pythagorean triangle problem, adding four points for a total of 54. Archbishop Murphy finished second with 21 points, Stanwood third with 17. 

Monroe's Bearcats thus achieved a "three-peat," having claimed the state championship trophy in 2022 and 2023.  Now, they will square off with Hi-Q champions from Pennsylvania, Alabama and Wisconsin-Michigan in a Zoomed contest on April 30th for national bragging rights.

Archbishop Murphy was the last "three-peater" from 2012-2014.  Mariner (1985-1987) and Cascade (1990-1994) are the only other schools to claim three or more consecutive championships.

Coached by Melissa Reed, team members include: Daniel Axelson, Aubrey Gardiner, Marlow Heath, John Lenzi, James MacFarlane, Gavin Maclean, and Edwin Tasto

About Hi-Q

Hi-Q is the oldest academic quiz competition for high school students in the nation and is the ONLY interscholastic academic competition in Washington that showcases students' high academic achievement in front of a general student audience. Competition questions are drawn from 14 subjects and based primarily on the content of standard high school courses and general scholastic knowledge that students can be expected to have acquired at school or elsewhere.

Hi-Q originally came to Western Washington in 1975 and was run by the Scott Paper Company. Everett Community College took over and ran the program from 1997 through 2012. When EvCC abandoned the program, students on the Monroe Hi-Q team mounted a campaign to save it, garnering a few front-page stories in the Everett Herald. EvCC's leaders weren't interested in continuing the program, but Monroe School District's then-superintendent, Dr. Ken Hoover, negotiated the transfer of Hi-Q's stage equipment to MSD and various Monroe High School staff worked out, with district involvement, a system for running Hi-Q through the MHS ASB.

And they're still going strong! More than five hundred students in surrounding school districts have shared the Hi-Q team experience and thousands of their classmates have cheered them on during Hi-Q assemblies. And it's only possible because some educators in Monroe believed in 2012 it was important and still support it by maintaining the bookkeeping/business side and other logistics.

Other competing schools in the 2023-24 season were Archbishop Murphy, Lynnwood, and Stanwood, Edmonds-Woodway, Jackson, Lake Stevens, Marysville-Getchell, and Marysville-Pilchuck.