Merrimack tops ASD in Granite State Challenge contest

DURHAM – Do you know which New Hampshire town is the burial place of Willa Cather? The answer is Jaffrey.

That was one of the few questions that stumped this week’s contestants, Merrimack High School and the Academy for Science and Design out of Nashua, on this week’s spirited and closely contested Granite State Challenge. Coming out of the third round, the score was tied 290-290. Merrimack pulled out to an early lead in the final round and with just 30 seconds left in the game, led by a score of 460 to 390. The Academy for Science and Design answered three questions in a row correctly and brought the score to 460 to 450, but time ran out, and Merrimack High School cinched the win.

The Merrimack Tomahawks were represented by Scott Peyton, Alex Jobin, Nick Marcus and Sophie Kim, as well as alternates Eric Hilton and Troy Church. They were coached by Sara Campbell. The Academy for Science and Design was represented by Jakob Bair, Ed Carl, Akshat Thapa and Jonah Rivers, as well as alternates Michael Lai and Ella Blanchard. The ASD coach is Douglass Belley.

Merrimack now advances to the quarterfinals of the competition. Hosted by Jim Jeannotte, the popular quiz contest began the season with Granite State Challenge Super Sunday at Manchester Community College. Forty six New Hampshire high school teams took a qualifying test to secure one of only 16 spots on the show.

At the conclusion of the season, this year’s Granite State Challenge champion will move on to compete in the first-ever High School Quiz Show Invitational at WGBH in Boston against the winners of Maine Public’s High School Quiz Show: Maine. The winner of that game will face the winner of the semifinal game between Massachusetts and Rhode Island to determine a champion.

Granite State Challenge features New Hampshire’s top high school academic quiz teams as they demonstrate remarkable teamwork, quick thinking and smarts to beat the clock and buzz in first on this iconic New Hampshire game show. The game emphasizes quick recall of math, science, social studies, language arts and fine arts facts, along with questions about current events, entertainment, sports and New Hampshire.

Granite State Challenge is funded by lead sponsor Unitil, with additional funding from NEA New Hampshire, Heinemann Publishing, New Hampshire Lottery, D.F. Richard Energy, HRC, Measured Progress, The NHHEAF Network Organization and Super Sunday partner, Manchester Community College.