The Adair County High School Academic Team had outstanding finishes across the board at the Governor's Cup Regional Championships on Saturday, February 17. The team qualified for the State Championships in both team events: Quick Recall and Future Problem Solving. Included in the State Championship qualification, the team also had four individuals advance in individual written assessment competition.
The tournament draw for Quick Recall did no favors for the team, giving Adair the toughest hill to climb to try to make it to State, but the team surmounted the challenges and earned a spot among Kentucky's elite by finishing 2nd in the event. The team faced a very formidable Greenwood High School in the opening round and came out on top by doubling their opponent's score in impressive fashion. The team had to battle back from the bottom bracket after falling short in the 2nd round against Glasgow, the number 2 ranked Quick Recall team in the State. The team grabbed a victory against Russell County and once again against Greenwood, who also battled through the bottom bracket before being re-matched against Adair. Finally, the State Qualification match pitted defending Top 5 Quick Recall team in the State South Warren against Adair County. Adair got off to a 23-8 1st half lead and never looked back. The win earned the team the right to advance to State once again, and put them in the Championship match against Glasgow High School, who eventually edged out Adair to take the title.
Coach Brett Reliford commented, "This 4th Region in the State of Kentucky is just getting better and better. Every powerhouse school keeps pushing the others to up their game. Last year, our Region ended up having two of the top five Quick Recall teams in the state, and South Warren even finished 4th in overall State points. To climb the ladder to get to the point we're at after this past Saturday is a great accomplishment for our competing students. Walking into Region 4 Governor's Cup feels more and more like a 'mini-State Finals' every year."
The Future Problem Solving evaluators had no easy task of it either. Unlike Quick Recall, Future Problem Solving is a six-step writing process that must be evaluated by a number of highly complex criteria among trained judges. Teams earn ranks among judges with the top 2 advancing to State. Adair County finished 2nd in the event against what Coach Reliford called the most competitive FPS field the Region has ever seen. Adair missed 1st place by just one ranking slot, as South Warren --the defending FPS State Champion--earned the Championship just ahead of them.
"I think it was all in agreement that there were four teams this year that could all make claims of being a Top 10 FPS squad at this year's State Championships. You had only two spots that were going to earn bids. We are really fortunate to advance, and it's a sure sign of how quality the team's work was when we can say we edged out so many great teams just to get a chance to go on and compete at the State Championships."
Individual qualifiers that will go on to compete at the State Championships are Benjamin Hancock, Ty Cheatham, Maddie Harmon, and Trevor Smith. Hancock and Cheatham went 4th and 5th respectively in the Science Written Assessment competition. This is also Hancock's third year in a row of qualifying for State Finals. Harmon earned 3rd Place in Language Arts, marking the 2nd year in a row she has made it to the State Championships. Smith finished 5th in Arts and Humanities to mark the 2nd year in a row for him as a State qualifier as well.
The State Championships will be held March 17-19 at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky. This year marks the 15th straight year Adair has had qualifying individuals or teams making it to the prestigious event.
"There are numerous young people around the state who start the year with high hopes of making to the elite State Finals competition. There are many schools who don't get to experience that honor due the highly competitive nature of academic competition year to year. Knowing this, we are just so incredibly happy with what our program has been able to achieve. There are teams who really would have loved to compete at State and having a 15-year run at this accomplishment is not something we take lightly. These students work hard and should be very proud of this achievement, along with the alumni who paved the way by reaching high standards in competition over the program's history."