Bearings are set for D.C. Bee winner has `great memory'.
WORCESTER - All right, no cheating - click off Google and try to guess what country the Wellesley Islands are a part of.
If your answer is Australia, then you may just have the taste for obscure geographical knowledge that allowed Abhinav V. Kurada of Littleton, a sixth-grader at the Advanced Math and Science Academy in Marlboro, to beat almost 100 of the state's sharpest students yesterday in the state finals of the 2010 National Geographic Bee at Worcester State College.
"I guess I just have a great memory," Abhinav said last night on his way out to a celebratory dinner with his family. "I read books. I read National Geographic magazine. Plus, me and my dad work together."
Abhinav will represent Massachusetts in the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., May 25 and 26. All state winners receive $100, a National Geographic atlas, and an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the finals.
The final round of the national contest will be hosted by Alex Trebek of "Jeopardy!" and airs nationally on the National Geographic Channel. It will be rebroadcast on public television stations.
This was not Abhinav's first rodeo in geography bee circles; he said he has competed in various bees in the region. But he said he's looking forward to the challenge of competing on a national stage.
"It's uncharted territory, I guess," Abhinav said. "I'm kind of confident, but we haven't been there, so we don't know."
Abhinav said it was fun competing yesterday. He said he had several friends in the competition. There were a few questions he was slightly unsure of, he said. For example, he correctly guessed Brazil as the second-largest beef producer in the Americas (the United States is the largest).
"I was thinking either Brazil or Argentina," Abhinav said.
Central Massachusetts students participating in yesterday's contest included Jack A. Magill, an eighth-grader at Florence Sawyer School in Bolton; Zachary D. Sowerby, a seventh-grader at Fitchburg's Applewild School; Benjamin G. Sarkis, an eighth-grader at Grafton Middle School; Jessica L. Costello, a seventh-grader at St. Anna School in Leominster; Jake DeGrace, a seventh-grader at Turkey Hill Middle School in Lunenburg; Philip J. Dombrowski, an eighth-grader at Paxton Center School; Nicholas G. Poole, an eighth-grader at Central Tree Middle School in Rutland; Alexander S. Todorov, a seventh-grader at Oak Middle School in Shrewsbury; Brooks
Bellefeuille, a seventh-grader at Trottier Middle School in Southboro; Thomas M. Picard, a sixth-grader at Venerini Academy in Worcester; Benjamin C. Salfeld, a fifth-grader at Bancroft School in Worcester; and Eric M. Benoit, a seventh-grader at St. Peter-Marian Junior High School in Worcester.
PHOTOG: T&G Staff/MARK C. IDE
CUTLINE: Abhinav V. Kurada of Littleton, right, winner of the Massachusetts Geographic Bee held yesterday in Worcester, accepts congratulations from second-place contestant John Ramirez of North Easton.