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News, State/Region, Top Stories, Video — March 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm

SCSU hosts MN State Geography Bee


ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Over 100 middle school students made their way to St. Cloud State University (SCSU) this morning. Gopi Ramanathan, Sartell, won his second title in three years and will continue on to the National Geography Bee in Washington D.C. on May 22-24.

In the Championship Round, Ramanathan squared off against 2011 winner Will Bogenschultz, Ramsey, after neither missed a single question after reaching the Final Round of 10. Ramanathan defeated Bogenschultz 3-2 in the final round to advance to nationals for the second time.

In a competition filled with return competitors Matthew Bittmann, Alexandria, finished fourth. Bittmann had competed at the state level two years ago finishing 11th and was excited to make his first appearance in the final round.

“I’ve been at the State Bee before but I’ve never been in the top ten so I was really excited to make it that far,” said Bittmann, “Finishing fourth was great and I knew I had great competition because there were two past winners from the State Bee.”

This is the fourth year SCSU has hosted the annual State Geography Bee. Dr. David Wall, Professor of Geography at SCSU, served as judge for the final round and voice of Minnesota Public Radio, Perry Finelli served as mediator. Students in grades 4-8 are eligible for the annual contest that takes place each spring.

Each student competing today had to win a local competition at their own school and complete a written examination which determined the contestants for the state competition.  The final ten were chosen after being asked eight questions each in a preliminary round. The 15 students who answered all eight questions correctly moved on to a tiebreaker round in which they were asked one question each until only ten remained.

To learn more about the National Geography Bee or to test your world knowledge visit

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