|Olympian High School
Chula Vista, CA
|Dylan Rafael Yamzon
Olympian High School is a public high school in Chula Vista, CA. The Eagles (dubbed so because of their school mascot) are active participants in the SoCal QB circuit and are especially active at NAQT-sanctioned events. Along with Eastlake, Olympian was a key early supporter of pyramidal quizbowl questions in their local Academic League.
Metro Conference Academic League
Olympian has dominated the Metro Conference Academic League since 2012 (and was a strong year-to-year competitor before that), winning the league regular season and tournament every year, often in an overwhelming fashion.
- Arjay Micheal Graslie
- Ashten Abalos
- Cameron Espinoza
- Chloe Casares
- Daniella Garnica
- Dantae Garcia
- Dante Hernandez
- Dee Batina
- Dylan Yamzon
- Frank Castillo
- Hannah Batina
- Iris Elmido
- Jacob Sarinas
- Jessela Tatad
- Joseph Alvarado (mgr.)
- Lila Careaga
- Leo Figueroa
- Martin Costa
- Mina Guaderrama
- Nalu Raney
- Nour Ali
- Rianna Cain
- Sarah Chang
- Theodore Kirkpatrick
- Toyo Sison
- William Pitiquen (mgr.)
The Olympian Quizbowl team was started in 2011, and since then the team has been led by a series of coaches such as Ken Boulton and Kristine Yau. Debra Hake served as the coach for the team since 2019 until her untimely passing in December of 2023, after which Kristine Yau once again took up coaching duties.
During their infancy, the team largely stayed within their local circuit, competing only at the Sweetwater Union Academic League Tournament, of which they are still an annual competitor. Aside from two UCSD tournaments in the Fall of 2011, the team steered clear of competition outside of their local league.
Starting from 2013, however, they began playing at various SoCal tournaments such as Capstone Invitational, Irvine High Operation Pandemonium III, Arcadia Xanthic Only Live Once Tournament L'Affaire, and Warhawk II Novice Invitational. Though they performed somewhat poorly in those tournaments, the team still produced some players of note. Ironically, a person named Kyle emerged as one of the team’s first leading scorers, consistently achieving 40+ ppg, despite usually being on the losing side. To round out this early team, players by the names of Mark, German, Brandon, Abraham, and Thomas put up good numbers against fierce competition in Arcadia, Santa Monica, Canyon Crest, and Westview, among others. Since then, the school has remained an active competitor at SoCal QB events, with fluctuating performance.
The 2014-2015 season marked the beginning of Olympian’s rise as a competitive team in the SoCal region. The team, led by juniors Kyle M. and Thomas B, along with senior Mark T., won a tournament for the first time, sharing that victory with BASIS Scottsdale A at the Arizona Quizbowl Association October Invitational. This season also featured the team’s first appearance at HSNCT, and although they placed 113th and ended with a record of 5-5, that performance set the stage for the team’s greatest achievement. Throughout that season as well as the 2015-2016 season, the team continued to attend various tournaments, notably placing 1st at the 2016 Western High School Invitational and 2nd at the 2015 Sacramento Fall Tournament. In that season, the team also attended HSNCT, though with similar results as the first.
Thomas and Kyle could lead the team to decent placements, but they fell short of the performance necessary to do well in HSNCT. With the end of the 2015-2016 season, the two graduated, and Olympian lost their two top scorers for nearly 4 years. In the 2016-2017 season, the team was relatively quiet in the SoCal scene, though they had a notable outlier result in the 2017 Red Rock Invitational, where they placed second behind Ed W. Clark High School. However, the importance of this season lies not in the results of the team, but rather in the development/acquisition of new players. Players such as Athina Rosure, James Scherrer, Manuel-Aguilera Prieto, and Ocean Zhou began blooming into the core team that would take Olympian to its apex. Highlighted in the fact that in the 2017 HSNCT, Olympian B - which consisted of these players, Zachary Blanton, and Hearth Yager - placed 97th as opposed to Olympian A’s 154th, the team was gearing up for its greatest HSNCT run.
Olympian Quizbowl was taken to its peak in the 2017-2018 season. For the first time in its history, the team was consistently placing within the top 4 at every tournament they went to. Led by the previously mentioned players and rounded out by others like A. J. Payumo, Dayo Amisu, Jake Blankenbecler, and Kiara Pornan, the team displayed remarkable consistency and skill through an impressive 21 PPB and a notable lack of negs. In the 2018 HSNCT, the team placed 51st with a record of 8-5, the highest rank that Olympian has acquired thus far. Following this season, however, the team has been unable to reproduce those impressive results. Adapting to both the graduation of the 2017-2018 Olympian A team and a coaching change, the team continued to play strongly in the 2018-2019 season, ranking no lower than 4th at all the tournaments they attended. Despite this, they missed HSNCT for the first time in 4 years, and have not since returned.
The performance of the team from 2019-2021 was marked by a gradual decline and confusion about the competitiveness of the team. The 2020 Sweetwater Union Academic League Tournament marked their first loss in the Metro Conference Academic League since 2012, with varsity losing to Otay Ranch. In the county, they accidentally put their A team in the JV bracket and the B team in the varsity bracket when registering for CCA PPT V. Despite the waning strength compared to the 2017-2018 team, the team still managed to produce strong players such as Henry Morales, who dominated on science against stiff competition from nationals contenders like Arcadia, Del Norte, and St. Margaret’s Episcopal.
The 2022 team has attended more tournaments than the team has in recent years, and has been able to remain competitive with stronger teams in the region. They notably tied for fourth place at the 2023 Southern California State Championship.
Internal History and Team Culture
The team has frequent meetings and is largely student-led, thus the team has had a strong team culture that owes itself to common experiences and specific changes made by the players themselves. Due to Ken Boulton’s coaching of the team spanning most of the team’s history, a Boulton and post-Boulton era are commonly held periodizations of the team’s history by its players.
The Boulton era is defined as the period when Ken Boulton coached it from 2011-2019. The era defined the team’s standard and potential. The team’s strongest performance, the 2017-2018 team, also occurred during this time. The era also set the precedent for many of the team’s practices and habits, such as emphasizing punctuality and “strategies” such as “stalling” and note-taking, which are still encouraged to varying degrees. The era also defined a specialization system, where players could specialize in science, literature, history, or geography. The RMPSS and fine arts subjects were distributed among players within those four subjects, according to student interest. However, some trends did emerge, such as science players often being made to study auditory fine arts because sounds are “vibrations in the air.” The movement of Ken Boulton from Olympian also led to a loss of players as well as the decline and eventual dissolution of the school’s Academic Decathlon.
The post-Boulton age saw a shift from coach-mediated practices to student-mediated practices, believed to have begun under the coaching of Kristine Yau. Since then, the chronology of the team has been largely influenced by the players themselves. What some players have dubbed the “Hakeian Reformation” occur during this period, defined by changes in team structure and public image since the Boulton age. The “reforms” include the creation of a team category specialization that includes the RMPSS and fine arts subjects to supplant geography as its own specialization. During these “reforms,” the team also emphasizes outreach, team building, and community building within their local circuit in an ongoing “Era of Diplomacy.” Emphasizing practices such as carding also occured under the reforms. Notably, there exists a strong team culture and high level of interaction with alumni.
- "Beauty is powers, powers beauty." (Henry Morales)
- "Can't neg if you never buzz." (Daniel Perry)
- "Merely enjoy the reality in which you live now!!!!" (Richard Manugid)
- "You can't cook if you don't have all the ingredients." (Dylan Yamzon)
- "Can we bring our own buzzers and like just do practice rounds of Quizbowl because if not I will literally die of withdrawal." (Arjay Graslie)
- "Eat, sleep, Quizbowl, repeat." (Iris Elmido)
- "Oh, first neg." (Jessela Tatad)