Latin competition team finishes on top at regional qualifer

By Jack Goldfisher

Four members of the Harvard-Westlake Junior Classical League took first place honors Saturday afternoon at the Southern California Regional Qualifier for Certamen, a team trivia competition focusing on Latin grammar and Greco-Roman mythology.

The team, consisting of Josh Lappen ’13, David Lim ’13, Jensen Pak ’14 and Michael Rothberg ’13 competed at the High School – Advanced level, scoring 420 points in three rounds, which earned them first place in the California Regional Certamen Rounds southern division and second place statewide.

“This year the questions seemed in to be more directed towards our strong suits as a team – history, etymology, and the like, and of course that helped,” Lappen said. “But in the end, our focus is really just having fun and learning classics trivia.”

Because the team placed in the top nine teams statewide, they earned a chance to compete in the semifinals later this month. Their statewide ranking determines the seeding in the statewide semifinal round. Harker, a school in the northern division, won first place, scoring 690 points.

The competition took place at Polytechnic High School in Pasadena and was chaperoned by Latin teacher and JCL club sponsor Derek Wilairat. The semifinal will be played at the California Junior Classical League State Convention at Menlo School in Atherton, California on March 30-31.