Smith, Arocha top geography bee

Tori Smith, sixth grader, took first place, and Tyler Arocha, was runner-up in the 2010-11 Marion Elementary School Geography Bee Dec. 10. A qualifying written test was given to all students in grades fourth through sixth, according to Rod Garman, MES principal. The top 28 scorers?15 in sixth grade, 11 in fifth and two in fourth?qualified to participate. Topics included U.S. geography, U.S. history, continents, U.S. quarter trivia, fresh water, cultural geography and physical geography. ?In 16 years of moderating Geo Bees,? Garman said, ?this was the first year that I had to go through all seven preliminary rounds to narrow the field down to 10 or less participants for the finals competition.? Garman said 14 students were still competing into the seventh preliminary round. The five finalists were Janson Garman, fifth; Josh Knolla, sixth; Devin Hamm, fifth, and Smith and Arocha. Smith will now take the qualifying exam in January for the state Geography Bee. Qualifiers will be announced in March.

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