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Merivale High School
Ottawa, ON
State Championships 2000 Reach
National Championships 2000 Reach, 2003 SmartAsk!
Program Status Unknown
School Size Unknown
NAQT Page link

Merivale High School is a public school in suburban Ottawa, Ontario. A Reach for the Top team was established in the 1999/2000 school year under the guidance of Richard Mageau, who had previously assisted Bell and Gloucester in their Reach national championships.

Reach for the Top

Merivale's best result in Reach for the Top came in their first year, 2000. After losing the city title to Gloucester, Merivale beat Ridley College in the finals of both the provincial and national tournaments to claim the 2000 Reach for the Top championship. Excepting the years when Reach was established and re-established, no other school has won the title in their first year of competition. The 2000 Merivale team was captained by Chris Demerse, had regulars Evan Annett, Kyla Ercit, and Matt Hogel, and had several alternates (Ottawa city competition allows only one team per school).

After the championship, Mageau left during a work-to-rule teachers strike and Merivale struggled in provincials the following year. Merivale would later win their first two (and so far, only) city championships in 2002 and 2003, and has also qualified for provincials a few times since, including a run to the quarterfinals in the 2009 Reach for the Top Nationals.


The 2003 Merivale team participated in the second season of SmartAsk!, a quiz show that ran on CBC television and radio. Similar to the 2000 team in Reach, Merivale won the season in their debut year. In the final, the them defeated Kennebecasis in a final-round comeback. After Merivale only ever bet 10 points in it and Ben Smith pre-determined the designated players for each team in the later matches, the new "Dawg-eat-Dawg" format was scrapped. The champion team was captained by Sarah Kriger and included Jayson Johnson, Imran Karim, and Ben Smith.

In the following season, Merivale failed to win the first radio match, thus missing the final SmartAsk season.


Merivale participated in a NAQT-format tournament for the first time in November, 2007. They won the Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament the following year. Merivale revived their quizbowl program in 2014-2015 and began attending tournaments again.


Several former Merivale players have played quizbowl at the university level:

  • Dave Davis
  • Jeff Gordon
  • Ian Harten
  • Andrei Janus
  • Sarah Kriger
  • Adam Minelli
  • Edward Roue
  • Ben Smith
  • Paul Johnson

Title Succession

Reach for the Top Champion
Preceded by
Succeeded by
SmartAsk! Champion
Preceded by
Succeeded by