July 16, 2012 – After a rapid-fire quiz bowl round against Penn State, a team of four students from Texas A&M University (TAMU) won first place in the 2012 National Academic Quadrathlon. The TAMU team was made up of Brent Hale, Jacob Brown, Catherine Moore and Dillon Garr.
“We’re proud of these guys,” said Russell Cross, head of the Department of Animal Science at TAMU.
To get to the national competition in Phoenix, AZ, teams had to compete at the local and regional levels. An estimated 41 teams competed at the local level this year. Each quadrathlon consists of a written exam, oral presentation, lab practicum and quiz bowl. To win, undergraduate students answer questions and demonstrate skills in animal science, veterinary medicine and animal production.
“You have to rely on each other’s expertise,” said Brown.
Moore said one highlight of the competition came during the lab practicum, when the team had to identify samples of animal feed ingredients. Instead of just looking at the ingredients, Moore decided to taste them herself—and it paid off.
“I thought it was molasses, and I tasted it. Yep, molasses!” Moore said.
Winning the competition was not without challenges for the TAMU team. All the team members have just completed sophomore year of college, which made them the youngest team in competition. Dillion said the hardest part of the Quadrathlon was the quiz bowl. Students in the quiz bowl used buzzers to ring in and answer timed questions.
“You’re moving so fast,” said Moore.
David Forrest, professor and associate head for Academic Programs in the Department of Animal Science at TAMU and advisor to the team, said it was great to see students demonstrate what they had learned.
“I’d encourage every school to enter their local contest,” Forrest said.
The 2012 National Academic Quadrathlon was sponsored by the American Society of Animal Science, the ASAS Foundation, CEV Multimedia, Select Sires and Block and Bridle. The University of Arizona hosted the lab practicum and written exam.
American Society of Animal Science