State Geographic Bee Winners Head to Finals

National Geographic News
April 8, 2002

The state champions of the 2002 National Geographic Bee were determined in contests across the United States last Friday. The 55 champions, representing every U.S. state and several territories, will gather in Washington, D.C. on May 21 and 22 to determine this year's national Bee champion—and who gets to win a college scholarship of $25,000.

This year five million students from 15,000 schools participated in the preliminary rounds of National Geographic's annual Bee—testing their knowledge of the world's geography, economies, politics, cultures and religions.

"The importance of the Bee is that it highlights the importance of geography—especially in today's climate—and that the leaders of tomorrow know their stuff," says Mary Lee Elden, director of the National Geographic Bee.

Alex Trebek, host of the popular quiz show Jeopardy will moderate the national competition which will air nationally the same day on the National Geographic Channel and will be shown later on public television stations. Check local listings for day and time.

The 2002 state champions—who are automatically entrants in the national competition— are:

Alabama
Carter Pelham, 8th grade, home school, Huntsville

Alaska
Yan Matusevick, 7th grade, Randy Smith Middle School, Fairbanks

Arizona
John Yatsko, 7th grade, McKemy Middle School, Tempe

Arkansas
Jacob Felts, 7th grade, Valley View Jr. High, Jonesboro

California
Henry Yin, 7th grade, Hopkins Jr. High, Fremont

Colorado
Isaiah Hess, 8th grade, home school, Colorado Springs

Connecticut
Aaron Kiersh, 6th grade, Bedford Middle School, Westport

Delaware
Sean O'Donnell, 7th grade, Corpus Christi School, Wilmington

Department of Defense schools (DoDDS)
Ryan Felix, 8th grade, Naples American High School, Naples, Italy

District of Columbia
Thomas Meyerson, 7th grade, Blessed Sacrament School

Florida
Daniel T. Turton, 8th grade, Indian Trails Middle School, Winter Springs

Georgia
Samuel Coffin, 5th grade, Brookstone Middle School, Columbus

Hawaii
Jerome Asuncion, 8th grade, Kamehameha Schools, Honolulu

Idaho
Alex Price, 8th grade, West Jr. High, Boise

Illinois
Parnell Dean, 8th grade, Mokena Jr. High, Mokena

Indiana
Erik Bolt, 8th grade, home school, South Bend

Iowa
Justin LeDuc, 8th grade, home school, Cedar Rapids

Kansas
Benjamin Detrixhe, 5th grade, Clyde Elementary, Clyde

Kentucky
Zia Choudhury, 6th grade, Lone Oak Middle, Paducah

Louisiana
Katherine Schulz, 8th grade, St. Mark, Chalmette

Maine
Charles Platt, 8th grade, Berwick Academy, South Berwick

Maryland
Timothy Mackie, 8th grade, home school, College Park

Massachusetts
Michael O'Keeffe, 8th grade, St. Catherine of Siena, Norwood

Michigan
Calvin McCarter, 5th grade, home school, Jenison

Minnesota
Nicholas Burkhart, 8th grade, Mankato East Junior High, Mankato

Mississippi
David Gagne, 8th grade, Rosa Scott Middle School, Madison

Missouri
Mallika Thampy, 8th grade, home school, St. Louis

Montana
Matthew Downhour, 8th grade, Helena Middle School, Helena

Nebraska
Evan Swan, 7th grade, South Sioux City Jr. High, South Sioux City

Nevada
Shana White, 8th grade, Thurman White Middle, Henderson

New Hampshire
Zachary Blatt, 7th grade, McKelvie Middle School, Bedford

New Jersey
Alexi Alferiev, 8th grade, Charles Lewis Middle School, Blackwood

New Mexico
Brock Haroldson, 8th grade, home school, Aztec

New York
Nathaniel Mattison, 8th grade, H.C. Crittenden Middle, Armonk

North Carolina
Alexander Smith, 8th grade, Turrentine Middle School, Burlington

North Dakota
John Rice, 8th grade, home school, Maddock

Ohio
Alyssa Lane, 8th grade, Hawkin Middle School, Lyndhurst

Oklahoma
Kevin Lopez, 8th grade, Haileyville Public School, Haileyville

Oregon
John Pascale, 7th grade, Lincoln Savage Middle School, Grants Pass

Pacific Territories
Jason Togi, 7th grade, Leatele Elementary, Pago Pago

Pennsylvania
Matthew Russell, 8th grade, Fretz Middle School, Bradford

Puerto Rico
Sherry Gong, 7th grade, St. Johns, San Juan

Rhode Island
Anthony Denice, 5th grade, James Eldredge Elementary, East Greenwich

South Carolina
Debbie Beihl, 7th grade, home school, Saluda

South Dakota
Zack Abrahamson, 8th grade, Southwest Middle, Rapid City

Tennessee
Christopher Blackwell, 8th grade, McCallie School, Chattanooga

Texas
Joshua Baumgartner, 8th grade, home school, San Antonio

Utah
Derek Wells, 5th grade, Pinnacle Canyon Academy, Helper

Vermont
Charles Barstow, 8th grade, Gailer School, Shelburne

Virgin Islands
Babatunde Lewis, 6th grade, Eulalie R. Rivera PDS, Kingshill

Virginia
Brian Cheng, 7th grade, Langston Hughes Middle School, Reston

Washington
Erik Miller, 8th grade, home school, Kent

West Virginia
Paul Andrew Dutton, 8th grade, Pleasants County Middle School, Belmont

Wisconsin
Matt Leveille, 8th grade, Wilson Middle, Appleton

Wyoming
Philip Michael, 8th grade, McCormick Jr. High, Cheyenne

Test your geographic knowledge with questions from previous National Geographic Bees. Go>>

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