Bel Air takes crown in Harford academic tournament

Bel Air High School recently won its third straight Harford County Academic Tournament, beating Fallston High School by 50 points.

The 29th annual academic tournament was held May 1 at Harford Community College. Teams from eight local public high schools participated, including Aberdeen, Bel Air, C. Milton Wright, Edgewood, Fallston, Havre de Grace, Joppatowne and North Harford.

Fifty-five students participated.

The Bel Air team won all seven preliminary rounds, and was the No. 1 seed in the final four, which included the Aberdeen, Fallston and Havre de Grace teams.

"Bel Air did a really nice job," Ben White, coordinator of the tournament for Harford County Public Schools, said. "They went undefeated this whole tournament."

No. 2 seed Fallston defeated No. 3 seed Aberdeen 230-170 in its semifinal round, and Bel Air crushed No. 4 seed Havre de Grace 200-60.

Bel Air went on to defeat Fallston in the final round, 200-150. Questions were worth 10 points each.

In addition to being the tournament coordinator, White is a science teacher at Fallston and coach of the school's academic team.

"We're close, I think we're going to take it back next year – I hope," White said.

White noted C. Milton Wright's team has also won the tournament several times in recent years.

"It would be nice if some other schools had a chance at it," he said.

White said he must raise funds to put on the tournament each year – the school system provided some support such as transportation and television coverage, and HCC provided the space to hold the tournament.

The semifinal and final rounds of the competition will be broadcast on Harford Cable Network.

"It just blows me away to be around these kids, because they're really, really smart," White said.

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