Eighth-grader Matthew Lehner emerged as the Templeton Middle School geographic bee champion after rounds of intense questions, up against seven other school finalists.
The other finalists were Josef Aidich, Josiah Dieman, Connor Gordon, Kevin Phalphouvong, James Strasburg, Nolan VanHaren and Molly Wrobleski. Strasburg took second place, and third place went to Aidich.
All Templeton students participated in a preliminary round by taking a 25-question written test. Students who scored highest on that test advanced to the semifinal round and the eight finalists took part in the final championship round Jan. 10.
As the school champion, Lehner will take a written test to qualify for state level competition. Up to 100 of the top scorers in each state will be eligible to compete March 31 in state level National Geographic Bee events. The winner of each state bee will travel to Washington, D.C., in May to participate in the national event.