Garnet Valley High School won the 71st Delco Hi-Q Championship in a highly competitive match on Wednesday.
Of the 21 teams competing this season, the final contest came down to a three-team battle among Garnet Valley, Delco Christian, and Radnor.
Garnet Valley finished second overall in the regular season and Radnor finished fourth. Both teams won a semifinal match to earn their place in the final. Delco Christian finished first overall and earned the right to advance directly to and host the championship.
The DeMoss Center at Delco Christian was standing-room-only with enthusiastic spectators filling all the available space during the championship. Extra chairs were brought in to handle the capacity crowd, which included the host school’s entire student body. Garnet Valley brought a fan bus with students displaying signs that cheered on their classmates. Administrators from all three schools were in attendance, as well as representatives from the program’s main sponsor, Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, and its Foundation, and supporters from The Wilbur C. and Betty Lea Henderson Foundation and the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.
It was a fierce contest for points in the first half, as all three teams were tied after the first few categories. Each team was still in contention at the halfway point, as Garnet Valley led Radnor by five points and the host by nine points.
Garnet Valley continued to defend its lead and dominated the second half by scoring points in every category. With first place secured late in the half, Delco Christian and Radnor were still locked in a battle for second place, which wasn’t decided until the very last question.
Radnor used just a few of the 60 available seconds to buzz in and correctly answer the Math toss-up and thus earn second place in the thrilling match.
Final scores: Garnet Valley 64, Radnor 44, Delco Christian 40.
“The scores earned today show how hard these teams have worked to get here,” said Rick Durante, Hi-Q Director and Quizmaster. “Hi-Q is a tough competition and especially so during a championship contest.”
The win gave Garnet Valley its ninth overall title, including its fifth since 2011. It was the team’s sixth straight appearance in the championship and 24th overall. Faculty advisor Lesley Arensberg has been coaching the team for 13 years and fellow advisor Sandra Dubnansky is in her eighth year.
Indeed, the coveted Donna Zerby Trophy now belongs to Garnet Valley, after it spent the last two years at Haverford High School.
Garnet Valley earned $3,000 for its school, while Radnor earned $2,500 and Delco Christian $2,000.
Garnet Valley will represent Delco Hi-Q in the Hi-Q National Championship on April 5 in an online contest against teams from Alabama, Washington, and Wisconsin. Garnet Valley will also represent Delaware County at the Pennsylvania Academic Competition on April 26.
The teams will receive their cash awards and recognition at the annual Partners in Education Celebration on May 2 at the Drexelbrook Corporate Events Center.