For the third year in a row, Monroe High School’s Hi Q team has missed a ticket to national competition by a hair.
In front of a pack auditorium at Archbishop Murphy High School last Tuesday, contenders Arlington, Monroe and Archbishop Murphy were neck-and-neck throughout the course of the knowledge-based contest.
At halftime, the three teams were tied with 14 points each.
Many questions on biology, sports, chemistry, literature, art and physics stumped the teams in the second half of the competition, but the Wildcats gained a five-point lead with a correct answer to an art history question. Monroe also got a bonus point for a physics question.
All three teams were stumped by the final question in math.
The final scores were Archbishop Murphy, 27; Monroe, 23 and Arlington, 21.
It was the third first-place victory in a row for the Wildcats.
Monroe has finished in second place each of those years.
The Wildcats will participate in an online national contest sometime in April, when they will take on state champion teams from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Alabama.
The fact that a competition was held at all is owing to the hard work of the Monroe team, which saved the program last year from cancellation due to budget cuts at Everett Community College, which had organized the annual program.
The team decided that year that, instead of competing, they would write a business plan and try to rescue the program.
They found ways to reduce the cost of the program 90 percent, mostly by recruiting volunteers to do what paid staff had done at the college.