Local students compete in National Geographic Bee final

Local students competed in National Geographic Bee Final, Wednesday, May 17, 2017 (ABC7 photo)

A test of knowledge for students from California to Idaho to New Hampshire. 10 of the brightest and best in geography competing in the final contest of the National Geographic Bee.

Sidwell Friends seventh grader Max Garon brought experience. It was his second time representing the District at the national competition. "I just try not to get psyched out and just keep cool and answer the questions," he calmly stated.

After several rounds of questions, 54 students were whittled down to the final pool of 10. The winner takes home a $50,000 college scholarship and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Galápagos Islands. Leesburg sixth grader Anish Susarla thought the best prize was competing after months of preparation. "I basically used Google and National Geographic websites and some other books. It was pretty fun and tough along the way," he told ABC7 News.

In the end, it came down to a battle between Thomas Wright of Wisconsin and Pranay Varada of Texas. 14-year-old Varada correctly identified the Kunlun Mountains along the Tibetan Plateau. After his big win he replied, "Having done this for such a long time and winning it now, it's just a feeling of satisfaction."

The second place winner earned a $25,000 college scholarship and the third place winner took home a $10,000 scholarship.

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