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Bellarmine College Preparatory
San Jose, CA
Coach Chris Fleitas
State championships NorCal 2008
National Championships 2012 HSNCT

Bellarmine College Preparatory School is a Catholic private school located in San Jose, California.

Team history


The Bellarmine team began in 2007, competing at only a few local tournaments on mostly NAQT A-level sets. (The relative unfamiliarity of the Bay Area with non-NAQT formats has meant that NAQT sets have formed the majority of the team's tournament experience. Until he played ACF Regionals at Stanford in the February of his senior year, team captain Tanay Kothari had never played a non-NAQT tournament.)

Bellarmine's A team consisted of seniors Matt Menard and Raphael Murillo, junior James Hill III, and freshman Tanay Kothari. Matt, who later went on to Chicago, led Bellarmine's scoring throughout the year.


Freshmen Nikhil Desai and Ankit Aggarwal and sophomore Phillip Yakushev joined the team in the fall of 2008. Nikhil and Ankit's first tournament was Stanford's Cardinal Junior Classic, an A-set tournament at which Mission San Jose placed first, Bellarmine A (seniors Garrett Kingman and James Hill III, junior Vinayak Viswanadham, and Tanay), Harker placed third, and Bellarmine B (senior Nitin Egbert, sophomores Wyatt Nelson and Ben Gulmon, and Nikhil) placed fourth. After not playing any more quizbowl for four or five months, some team members played in the NAQT Northern California Championship; Bellarmine A (Garrett, Nitin, James, Vinay) took fifth, while Bellarmine B (senior Terry Drinkwater, and Ben, Phil, Ankit, and Nikhil) took second. A full-strength Bellarmine A (including Tanay), along with Bellarmine B, competed at the 2009 HSNCT, where they tied for 43rd. Nikhil received a third place freshman award for scoring a whopping 21.7 points per game, getting an earth-shattering total of 1 power in the tournament.

This year was the first year the team could be said to have started studying actively. While they remained practicing on old NAQT sets (not the best for studying), they learned about how to get better on questions and improve their knowledge in common questions and categories.


Vinay, Tanay, Ben, Phil, Wyatt, and Nikhil formed a core of returning members in the 2009-10 season. Encouragingly, the team was ranked 26th (right below St. Anselm's) in the Morlan Preseason Rankings.

Tanay and Nikhil both scored highly at early tournaments in November. Bellarmine won a tournament at Saratoga by beating 10 MSJ teams in a row, then played Cardinal Junior Classic, where it blew a lead of 230 - (-10) in the finals against MSJ A to take second. As it was still oblivious to general college quizbowl happenings in the Bay, the team missed out on ACF Winter at Stanford, but did sign up for the Stanford mirror of T-Party, where a team of Ankit, Phil, Nikhil and freshman John Cherian took last place at with a 2-10 record, eking out two wins over Case Western and Berkeley B and experiencing destruction at the hands of experienced quizbowlers such as Jeff Hoppes, Andrew Yaphe, and Mike Bentley. The team of Nikhil, Phil, Ankit, Vinay, and freshman Kshithij Shrinath then competed at the West Coast Invitational, where it bafflingly finished second on both days. Finally, a team of Tanay, Nikhil, Ankit, Phil, and John traveled to the 2010 HSNCT, where it went 7-3 in the preliminary rounds. Though expected by most to place somewhere in the middle tier of playoff teams, the team somehow managed to beat Neil Gurram's Detroit Country Day and Matt Jackson's GDS in succession, before losing soundly to Maggie Walker, State College, and LASA to finish fourth. This was the highest finish of a Bay Area team in a national tournament in recent memory.

The improvement of the team this year can be mainly attributed to all four members' discovery of the broader quizbowl community, the concept of writing questions, constant practice on scobowl, and a higher level of practice on better sets than in previous years.

In the summer, Tanay, Ankit, and Nikhil worked on BELFAST.

Succession of Titles

Preceded by
Succeeded by
State College