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Hunter College High School
New York, NY
Club Presidents Jacob Hardin-Bernhardt, Matthew Kohn
Coaches Caitlin Samuel
State Championships 2008 NAQT
National Championships 2012 NHBB (Varsity), 2012 NSC, 2015 NHBB (JV), 2016 HSNCT, 2017 HSNCT, 2019 NHBB (JV), 2019 MSNCT, 2021 NHBB (Varsity), 2022 NHBB (Varsity)
National Appearances HSNCT: 2007, 2008, 2012-2019, 2021-2022
PACE NSC: 2008-2019, 2021-2022
MSNCT: 2014, 2017-2019, 2021-2022
Program Status Active
School Size 1200
NAQT Page link

Hunter College High School is a public school located in Manhattan, New York City.




The Hunter quiz bowl team was founded in the winter of 2005-06 by Guy Tabachnick and Tony Cheng, both class of 2009. Hunter's first year as a quiz bowl team did not see any intermural competitions. During the first few weeks of its founding, Guy Tabachnick and Tony Cheng worked hard to gather enough members to constitute a team. A small membership developed under the advisory of counselor Dr. Chris Rogutsky. Buzzers and packets were purchased and much revelry was to be had in the semiweekly practices, which were usually during the half-hour club periods during lunch, although many afterschool practices did occur. However, the inexperienced team foolishly used Nationals-level packets for practice, which were the highest-level packets existing for general high school. Not surprisingly, player statistics remained deceivingly low.


Hunter's first year in competition was surprisingly successful, with a strong showing in each of their six tournaments. Its very first tournament, TJ Fall '06, in the perennially-strong DC region, saw the team burst onto the scene with a good result, despite having barely any quiz bowl experience. From there, the team improved rapidly as it got further acclimated with the high school canon, and gained their coach, Ms. Melanie Pflaum, after a victory at the Yale tournament in November, which admittedly had a weaker field than the DC-area tournaments. The culmination of the season was at the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament in late May, where they did very well in the preliminary rounds, going 7-3, and then suffered a somewhat disappointing loss to go out in the third round of the double-elimination playoffs, finishing tied for 33rd. The main weak point was the fact that the team was very young, with the average grade level at high school freshman, although this would serve as an asset for future years, giving them a head start and further years of eligibility. As the Hunter curriculum does not even begin American history until the second semester of sophomore year, for example, it was, as of then, one of the team's weakest subjects, along with literature.


In its second year of competition, the team attended the national PACE NSC tournament as well as HSNCT, where it tied for 11th place, placing much better than it did the year before. In addition to winning the New York State Championship, the team also placed very well in each of the other tournaments it attended. During the 2007-08 year, several younger players joined the team, making up Hunter B, which also did very well, placing 4th at the New York State Championship. The formation of the B-team laid rest to one of the team's biggest worries, as the core of the A-team would graduate in 2009, which might have forced the team to disband out of a lack of members had it not been for the B-team players.


In its third year of competition, the Hunter Quiz Bowl Team attended 18 tournaments, more than ever before. Although lack of funds forced the team to forgo attending NAQT HSNCT, it compensated by attending PACE NSC with two teams. The A-team placed better than the year before at NSC, coming in 5th; the B-team surpassed all expectations, placing 22nd in a field of 64 nationally-competitive teams. The team also performed exceptionally well at the annual Weekend of Quizbowl, during which the A-team placed 1st at both the Saturday and Sunday tournaments.

In September, Math teacher Stephen Young took on the role of Quiz Bowl coach, in which he performed admirably. Playing a very active role in managing the team's finances and transportation, communicating with parents, and helping the team improve itself, Mr. Young became an integral part of the team.

Continuing recruitment efforts expanded the team's roster, allowing it to bring 2 teams to most tournaments, and even 3 to some. However, its youth is still one of the team's weaknesses, with the bulk of its membership composed of freshmen or below, most of whom will graduate in the same year. Expanding membership to all grades remains one of its main goals for the following year.

The conclusion of the school year was marked by a pizza party, which the seniors attended in full prom regalia.


After taking 2nd place at the the 2011 NSC, the team continued to make their imposing presence known throughout the 2011-2012 school year, culminating in the Lily Chen-led team defeating Bellarmine in a one-match final to snag their first national championship at the 2012 NSC. Their B-team finished 17th as the highest-ranked B-team in attendance. At the 2012 HSNCT, they finished tied for 5th. Coincidentally, their B-team also finished 33rd.

At the 2012 National History Bee and Bowl, a subset of the 2012 team roster led by Richard Yu won the National History Bowl title. At the Bee finals held at Mount Vernon, Richard tied for second place. In 2019, Hunter's Junior Varsity History Bowl team got first place at Nationals, then-sophomore Pedro Juan Orduz won the Junior Varsity United States History Bee, and then-senior Daniel Ma won second place in the Varsity International Geography Bee.

Though a large number of the team's players graduated, the team continued to prove itself a worthy adversary in the 2013-2014 school year. Led by Zihan Zheng, it continued to win local tournaments and won 13th place at the 2013 NSC due to the impressive performances of Zihan himself, with help from lit specialist Marianna Zhang and talented generalist Wilton Rao.

In 2016, Hunter won its first HSNCT, when a team of Luke Tierney, Albert Tai, Josh Kwan, and Sam Brochin defeated Thomas Jefferson A in overtime to win 400-355. Hunter repeated the feat in 2017, with graduating seniors Albert and Josh replaced by Chloe Levine and Abishrant Panday. Hunter won both games of a disadvantaged final to beat DCC A. In 2018, a team of Chloe, Sam, Daniel Ma, and Gilad Avrahami finished as HSNCT runners-up, losing to Plano West A twice, including in the first game of a disadvantaged final.

Hunter have also developed a strong middle school program, since the school is for grades 7-12. In 2019, Hunter won the MSNCT, with a team of Jacob Hardin-Bernhardt, Ian Lu, Moxie Strom, and Bianca Dwork defeating Churchill A 280-250 in a one-game final.


At the 2020 National History Bee and Bowl, Pedro Juan Orduz and Andrew Zeng won their respective divisions of History Bee, and Ian Lu took 6th place in JV. Pedro Juan Orduz won second place in the Varsity United States History Bee, Andrew Zeng won first place in the Junior Varsity United States History Bee, and Jacob Hardin-Bernhardt took 4th place. Hunter also placed third in Varsity History Bowl and fourth in Junior Varsity History Bowl.

At the 2021 National History Bowl Hunter placed first in Varsity History Bowl and third in Junior Varsity History Bowl.

At the 2021 HSNCT Hunter A went undefeated in prelims and placed 8th. Hunter B placed 19th, the highest ever finish at HSNCT by a Hunter B team, and was the second-highest-placing B team at HSNCT overall after Stanton College Prep B.

At the 2021 NSC Hunter A made finals and went 14-2 overall, losing only to the eventual champion TJHSST A. Hunter B (with an entirely disjoint set of players from HSNCT) placed 18th, making them both the highest-placing B team at NSC and the best-finishing Hunter B team at NSC since 2012.

For the 2020-21 season, the team was led by seniors Rachel Yang and Cerulean Ozarow. Andrew Zeng will lead the team in the 2021-22 season.


2007 33rd
2008 11th Top 12
2009 5th
2010 9th/43rd
2011 31st 2nd
2012 5th/33rd 1st/25th/35th 1st
2013 50th/188th 13th/52nd
2014 21st/134th 33rd/69th/81st 19th/90th 17th 18th
2015 108th 34th/85th 1st
2016 1st/53rd 11th/81st 5th 5th
2017 1st/25th 11th/35th 8th 3rd 3rd
2018 2nd/227th 19th/78th 8th 8th 14th
2019 12th/129th 23rd/48th 1st/90th 11th 1st/14th
2020 3rd 4th
2021 8th/19th 2nd/18th 7th/91st 1st 3rd
2022 2nd/82nd 5th/32nd 21st 1st/81st 14th


Hunter hosted its first tournament, the 2008 Prison Bowl, on January 19th, 2008. The questions were generally hailed as being of high quality and are available here. Prison Bowl II, a collaboration with Walter Johnson, happened in January 2009, and Prison Bowls III and IV, head-edited by Lily Chen, occurred in the springs of 2010 and 2011 to critical acclaim. Prison Bowl, still traditionally housewritten by members of the Hunter team, continues to be one of the most popular tournaments in quiz bowl.

Hunter has also hosted a novice tournament, a mirror of SCOP Novice since 2012, every fall since 2011, excepting the fall of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In January of 2020, Hunter also hosted the New York City Middle School Quiz Bowl Championship, managed by Cerulean Ozarow.

More information on the various tournaments can be found here: Disclaimer: this site has not been updated for years and should not be referred to for any info past about 2017.

Current Rosters

Hunter roster

Seniors (Class of 2023)

Juniors (Class of 2024)

  • Ann Dai
  • Ayan Kohli
  • Fahian Joy
  • Maggie Kwan
  • Matthew Kohn
  • Vincent Chen
  • Zac Lobel


Sophomores (Class of 2025)

  • Evan Schleck
  • Maggie Sun
  • Rachel Chen
  • Ryan Lin

Freshmen (Class of 2026)

  • Aspen Choi
  • Dune Joerg
  • Ethan Bordoff
  • Isadora Silvester
  • Joshua Randall
  • Natalie Viderman

Other Players (Class of 2027-2028)



(C) Captain

(A) Alternate Captain

Notable Alumni

  • Guy Tabachnick, 2009 (Captain, 2005-2009)
  • Tony Cheng, 2009
  • Maggie Tse, 2009
  • Lily Chen, 2012 (Captain, 2009-2012)
  • York Chen, 2012
  • Paul Moschetti, 2012
  • David Xu, 2012
  • Richard Yu, 2012
  • Wilton Rao, 2013
  • Zihan Zheng, 2013 (Co-Captain, 2012-2013)
  • Marianna Zhang, 2014 (Co-Captain, 2012-2013; Captain, 2013-2014)
  • Sarah Hamerling, 2015 (Co-Captain, 2014-2015)
  • Jonathan Lin, 2015
  • Albert Tai (Co-Captain 2014-2015, Captain 2015-2016)
  • Luke Tierney, 2017 (Captain 2016-2017)
  • Chloe Levine, 2018 (Captain 2017-2018)
  • Abishrant Panday, 2018
  • Sam Brochin, 2018
  • Gilad Avrahami, 2018
  • David Godovich, 2018
  • Brian Huang, 2018
  • Ada-Marie Gutierrez, 2018
  • Alice Lin, 2018
  • Diane Hwangpo, 2018
  • Daniel Ma, 2019 (Captain 2018-2019)
  • Brian Lu, 2019
  • Asher Jaffe, 2020 (Co-Captain, 2019-2020)
  • Ben Chapman, 2021
  • Cerulean Ozarow, 2021 (Co-Captain, 2020-2021)
  • Ella Leeds, 2021
  • Michael Becker, 2021
  • Pedro Juan Orduz, 2021
  • Rachel Yang, 2021 (Co-Captain, 2019-2021)
  • Amanda Li, 2022
  • Andrew Zeng, 2022 (Captain 2021-2022)
  • Aruna Das, 2022
  • Nicholas Wu, 2022

Team Website

Social Media



Succession of Titles