MGCI’s Reach for the Top trivia team recently advanced to provincials for the first time in the team’s history, following a finalist placing at the regional competition. The provincial competition, which took place between 14-15 May, was held at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, and brought forty of the province’s best trivia teams together for a head-on-head showdown. Reach for the Top is a trivia competition that tests competitors’ knowledge on a plethora of topics, including music, pop culture, literature, mathematics, science, history, geography, and sports.
The provincial competition began with a round robin, in which forty teams played in five pools of eight teams. Teams were scored throughout each round, and the scores compared to the other thirty nine teams. The top ten teams from the round robin would then progress, while the rest would be eliminated. The MGCI Reach team was luckily able to finish 10th after this stage, just barely avoiding elimination. Team member Lawrence Pang reflected on the narrow success: “It’s proved to me the strength of willpower and team spirit. Even when several questions behind, heading into the last round against Hillfield, I really believed that we could pull off the comeback. Which we did.”
As the MGCI team placed the lowest out of all qualifying teams in the round robin, they were matched up against Martingrove, the first place team. In this stage, a single game would dictate who advances and who gets eliminated. MGCI narrowly lost 360-370, but because they held the highest losing score, they qualified for the final stage of the competition by wild card. In the last stage of the competition, MGCI once again faced Martingrove, although this time they lost by a fairly significant margin. Nonetheless, they ended on a very impressive result of 6th out of the 40 teams that made it to the provincial round.
Marc Garneau’s Reach for the Top team’s members were Rae Berhe, Khari Thomas, Yiqun Zhang, Ameya Datta, Esmat Sahak, and Lawrence Pang.
Regarding the team’s first time at provincials, Lawrence remarked that it was “really amazing, especially because it’s Mr. Melville’s last year.” Mr. Melville had been the team’s staff advisor for around a decade or so, and he has never witnessed a team progress beyond regionals. When asked about his thoughts on the team’s recent result, he commented, “Don’t ever tell them I said this, but those nerds were brilliant.”