Latin scholars compete at JCL

 

By Lara Sokoloff

Three middle school students won first place overall awards during Saturday’s Junior Classical League competition. Students participated in activities including Latin jeopardy and quidditch. Seventeen upper school students and 22 middle school students competed, more than had ever attended in the past.

Held at Woodbridge High School in Irvine, the competition is primarily targeted towards Latin students, but anyone with an interest in Latin or the classics is allowed to attend, club member Alex Geller ’10 said.

Most Harvard-Westlake JCL participants begin competing in seventh grade, and others join in as they hear from friends how fun it is, said Geller.

The competition features a variety of activities, all requiring varying amount of preparation and Latin knowledge.

“There are certain activities you need to prepare for like Certamen, academic testing, arts, and athletics, but there are certain things that you can just go in and wing it,” Geller said.

Kurtamin is Latin jeopardy in which there are many different levels, ranging from Middle School 1 to High School Advanced, totaling to six or seven levels.

Due to the many levels, many people are able to participate, making it one of the more popular events, Geller said.

“It’s pretty much for fun,” Geller said. “It’s just an opportunity for us to compete against other schools from California.”

Students placed highly in all areas of the competition. In the middle school division, Matthew Lucas ’14 won a first place overall academic award, and Albert Choi ’15 and Cole Jacobson ’15 took first place in overall athletic awards. April Rosner ’10 and Robby Goldman ’10 received first place academic awards in the high school division.

Three sponsors, Paul Chenier, Derek Wilairat and Moss Pike accompanied the students to the competition. The advisors do not directly help the students in preparing for the competition, instead providing them with the resources to prepare, Pike said.

“We don’t really coach our students at all. We facilitate certamen practice and help them out with the material contained in the questions, but there’s no real “coaching” involved in the same way as in debate, or mock trial,” Pike said.

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