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2004 College Bowl winners.

The University's 2004 winning College Bowl team with coach Dave Dorman.

Minnesota wins with quick wit and calm nerves

U team is 2004 College Bowl champion

By Jamie Proulx

In Olympic gymnastics, both men and women compete in floor exercises. For 10 points--what is the only apparatus used in both men's and women's Olympic gymnastics?

If you answered the vault, you are on your way to success in the College Bowl, a game of knowledge and quick response played on college campuses across the country.

Recently, teams gathered at Auburn University Montgomery for the College Bowl's National Championship Tournament, where the University of Minnesota beat the University of Michigan in the final round to bring home the national title.

Having won several regional championships over the years, this is the team's first national win since 1989 and their fourth win over the last 20 years. The U of M championship team includes five University students (four players and one alternate): Frank Shockey, captain of the team and graduate student in geography from Cleveland; Ray Anderson, a junior studying geography from Belview, Minn.; Ryan Peterson, a junior studying mathematics and physiology from Hibbing, Minn.; Matt Sauter, a junior studying geology from Rapid City, S.D.; and Tom Soderholm, a freshman studying philosophy from St. Paul.

Their coach, Dave Dorman, also a staff member at the University's Boynton Health Service, is retiring this year after 17 years of coaching and is excited the team brought home a victory in his final outing.

"I knew we would do well but I guess I never thought we would win, but we did and I'm so proud of the team and of their efforts," Dorman said. "We study and practice all year long and for this to be the result is gratifying. They gave a great performance."

Known as "The Varsity Sport of the Mind," the College Bowl has been quizzing students for decades and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The competition was originally broadcast on the NBC radio network from 1953 to 1957. With the moderator stationed in New York, the two teams competed from their respective campuses through a three-way phone and radio hookup.

The University of Minnesota was just as successful back then. In 1955, the team was known as the Minnesota powerhouse and was featured in Time magazine following numerous consecutive wins and upsets. The College Bowl left radio for television in 1959 and was broadcast on NBC until 1970.

In its current format, College Bowl teams compete in matches throughout the year and 16 regional champions are chosen to compete at the National Championship Tournament. Participants must be well versed in literature, science, history, arts, pop culture, and current events. But Dorman points out that knowing the information is only half the battle.

"There's a lot of pressure and competitive juices are flowing so it's important to stay relaxed," Dorman said. "I do remember when we all realized we were going to win. It was a special moment and we savored it as much as possible."

Upon Dorman's retirement, the team plans to start fresh in the fall with a new coach. If you're interested in joining the U of M College Bowl team, look for flyers and advertisements in September; the team is always looking for new people.

Now how about one question for the road?

It was founded in 1927 in Oak Cliff, Texas, as the Southland Ice Company, changed its name in 1946, and recently celebrated its 75th anniversary offering free slurpees--name this convenience chain.

It's 7-Eleven, of course.