MTHS team returns as Battle of the Books 2017 champs

By Nolan DeGarlais, Hawkeye staff

The Edmonds Heights Library hosted the fourth annual High School Battle of the Books competition for the Edmonds School District (ESD) on Wednesday, May 24. The competition featured teams from nearly every high school in the ESD, with teams from  MTHS, Scriber Lake High School, Meadowdale High School (MDHS), Edmonds Woodway High School (EWHS) and Edmonds Heights K-12. Each participating school brought one to three smaller teams that competed against each other to win the first place trophy. An MTHS team was crowned the first-place winner this year.

In the first year of the Battle of the Books competition, only teams from EWHS and MDHS participated. MTHS first sent teams to the competition during its second year.

MTHS teams have since participated in the competition in every year, including this year in which the team consisting of Eli Longacre, Amelia Jellison, Emillee Kirkman and Ava Olelas won first place and received the championship trophy.

The Battle of the Books competition features teams from different high schools in the ESD who compete to answer a series of questions about the books that they have read from the reading list put out by the Battle of the Books competition. These questions can range in focus from plot details to questions about specific characters and the team that answers the most questions correctly wins the first place trophy and the honor of being the champions of the Battle of the Books.

Competitors further prepared for the event by answering practice questions written by librarian Kasey Meier and other high school librarians in the district. Meier believes the students from MTHS were well prepared for the competition.

“I wasn’t surprised that they won. Three of the four team members of our top team had competed in the past, and all are strong readers with great memories. They also worked well as a team, truly collaborating and respecting the input of each member of the group,” Meier said.

The room was silent during the competition as team members displayed intense focus during the collaboration phases of the event and concentrated on giving the correct answers. However, there was much conversation during the breaks and all competitors had a pleasant attitude during the event. Even when the teams struggled at certain times, they never gave up and continued to show high levels of effort throughout the competition.

“I was so proud of their effort and can-do attitude. After all, an important part of the Battle is having fun with other students who love to read,” Meier said.

Meier also believes that the MTHS teams showed good sportsmanship to each other and competing teams during the event and did not become overconfident as they continued to do well throughout the competition.

“They worked well as a team, truly collaborating and respecting the input of each member of the group. I think our teams were confident, but still very respectful of their competition,” Meier said.