Economics team places second at Harvard competition


Eric Wang

Buzzing in–(Left to right) Senior Nimrita Singh, team coach and economics teacher Joel Nick, junior Allen Haugh and seniors Anthony DiPaulo and Alex Wuschner are presented with the second place trophy in the Harvard Pre-collegiate Economics Challenge (HPEC). The team lost to the Harker School, 45 to 40 in the final round.

Annabelle Lee, Editor-In-Chief

   Over the past few years, the economics team has participated at a number of competitions. The team had their best-ever showing at the Harvard Pre-collegiate Economics Challenge (HPEC) last Saturday, with their A team making the finals and placing second in a field of 63 teams from around the world.

   Over the course of a written test and four rounds of quiz bowl competition, the team, consisting of seniors Anthony DiPaulo, Nimrita Singh and Alex Wuschner, and junior Allen Haugh, earned a number three seed in preliminary competition and won six consecutive rounds before losing to the Harker School, a private school in San Jose, California, by the equivalent of half a question.

   The B team, consisting of juniors Spencer Buzdon, Daniel Caminiti, Eric Wang and Chris Ware, compiled a 2-1-1 record in preliminary competition.

   “It really was a tight, tight final round,” team coach and economics teacher Joel Nick said.

   This year is Nick’s first as the team’s coach. Previously, the team was advised by former social studies teacher Farrel Vogelhut, who retired at the end of last year.

   “It helped so much that [Mr. Nick] was always open to discus new visions I had for the team,” Singh said.

   The competition is the team’s marquee event each year. In other competitions the team has enjoyed similar successes. In a competition sponsored by the Council for Economic Education last November, the team won an Economists’ Choice award for their package of economic proposals, which consisted of tax, welfare, and trade reforms. The team used their $500 in winnings from that contest to purchase a buzzer system.

  “That helped us, I think… That helped students prepare. You have to basically buzz in to get your answer in, and there’s a strategy for that,” Nick said.

   The competition was marred by organizational issues. The organizers forgot to assign the A team a seed, making the competition 13-hours and leaving the team alone in a room for two hours during which their standing was ambiguous.

  Despite the snafus, the team is eager to continue competing. The team is planning on participating in the National Economics Challenge next week and has high hopes for next year’s HPEC.

   “The A team performed incredibly this year, and I’m hoping to do as well or better next year,” Buzdon said.