State championships don’t just come in athletics, they come in academics, too.
Pahranagat Valley won the 2013 Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association Division IV state championship held at Eureka High Nov. 25.
Coach Eric Hansen said the team consisted of Jason Wurtz, Janel Meldrum, Kennedy Huntsman, Caleb Hansen, Heidi Thatcher, and Brook Higbee.
The southern region of Division IV was made up of Pahranagat, Tonopah, Indian Springs, and Trinity Christian. The northern region has more than four teams.
November is the only month the competitions are held, and every Monday, Hansen said the teams in the southern region would have a meet at one of the participating schools. The northern region did the same.
Each meet consisted of teams with a panel of five students in four 30-minutes rounds answering random questions drawn from subjects such as math, science, English, literature, history, current events, and various other categories, asked by the meet moderator. With six on the team, Alamo would just rotate one person out each round.
Pahranagat Valley and Tonopah were the first two finishers in the southern division, and advanced to the state championship in Eureka with seven schools from the northern region.
Hansen explained at state there are four 30-minute rounds in the morning session, with the top six teams advancing to the afternoon session. Pahranagat won two of four rounds in the morning, tied for first in the third round, and had the highest total team score in all four rounds. “That allowed us to move on to the afternoon rounds,” he said.
Only two rounds are held in the afternoon session, cutting the field from six teams to three. Pahranagat held on to their first place standing, and moved into the evening championship round with Virginia City and Sierra Lutheran.
“There is just one 30-minute round in the championship,” Hansen said. Sierra Lutheran fell behind quickly, leaving the battle between PVHS and Virginia City. “It stayed nip and tuck between the two of us,” Hansen said. “One team having the lead, then the other, then we stayed tied for about 20 minutes.”
Hansen explained, “If the match is tied at the end of regulation, it goes to sudden death, and you have to win by two points, in either regulation or sudden death, like in volleyball.”
Still tied in the final three minutes, Virginia City missed two of the final three questions, and Pahranagat answered all correctly, to win the title in regulation time.
When PVHS won the championship in 2000 and 2011, both were decided in the sudden death overtime.
“An MVP is not named in the tournament,” Hansen noted, “but if they did it would have been Jason Wurtz, he’s really good, and helped us win in 2011.”
He said the championship trophy looks just like ones an athletic team would win, but the faceplate is different.