Nicole Curtis, special to wtop.com
WASHINGTON - The "It's Academic" team from James Hubert Blake High School in Montgomery County broke a 53-year record Saturday when it won the Super Bowl championship for the third consecutive year.
"It's not a secret. It's just more than most people are willing to do," says Coach Joe Caulfield. "These guys have to make a lot of sacrifices in order to get this good."
Captain Mary Aronne, Elana Harris and Jeremy Dowling competed with 81 local schools to capture the D.C. area title. The students then continued to the Super Bowl championship and defeated two teams from the Baltimore and Virginia areas.
Aronne was on the team for all three winning years.
"It was a lot of work, but it was well worth it," Aronne says.
"It was one of the most valuable experiences of my life."
Every week, the team practiced five days in the classroom, but outside study was necessary. Caulfield says the key was to build speed and to repetitively study the things they didn't know.
The Guinness Book of World Records' "It's Academic" is a televised academic quiz competition for high school students in the U.S.
Dowling says winning the championship was a humbling experience. Being his first year in the competition, Dowling is mentally preparing to make himself better for next year.
"It scares me because I might not do what Mary can do," Dowling says.
Caulfield says students are back at practice for next year's competition, because the process never stops.
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