Walnut Hills

From QBWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Walnut Hills
Cincinnati, OH
Coaches Brian Meeron
State Championships 2009
National Championships None
National Appearances HSNCT: 2006-10, 2016-19, 2022
MSNCT: 2022, 2023
Program Status Active
School Size 2,012
NAQT Page link

Walnut Hills High School is a six-year high school located in Cincinnati, Ohio.


The Illustrious Walnut Hills Quiz Team was founded around 1985. In the early 1990s, new history teacher Scott K. Grunder became coach. After wandering in the OAC wilderness for many years, Walnut Hills attended their first NAQT event in 2005, coming in second place at the Tippecanoe Academic Challenge to DCC. Since then, Walnut has competed occasionally on the Ohio circuit, frequently placing well at nearby events but not traveling as far or as frequently as other teams.

Walnut won the 2009 NAQT Ohio State Championship, their only state championship in school history. Walnut attended the HSNCT every year from 2006 to 2010, placing 70th in 2006, t-13th in 2007, t-42nd in 2008, t-17th in 2009, and t-27th in 2010.

Since 2016, they have been coached by Brian Meeron, a math and statistics teacher, and qualified for the HSNCT in each of Meeron's first three years from 2017 to 2019, though they placed in the bottom half in each. They reached in 2022 after a strong performance at the 15th Rowdy Raider tournament, where they placed in the top half but came one question short of securing a playoff spot. In 2023, they failed to reach HSNCT thanks to a stronger field at Rowdy Raider and a seventh-place finish at the Ohio State Championship.

Walnut plays regular season games in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference (ECC) using the OAC format, capturing eight straight conference championships from 2013 to 2020. Their success would last until the addition of Little Miami High School to the conference following the 2019-20 season. In the 2020-21 season, they went 14-2, but suffered a two-game sweep to a Little Miami team that would win each of its 16 conference games by an average of 40 points. In the 2021-22 season, where OAC used mostly non-pyramidal "bad quizbowl" questions during the regular season, they suffered a last-question loss to Little Miami (on the question "What does ICU stand for?"), which would ultimately prevent them from sharing the regular season title. In the 2022-23 season, they went 13-3, but captured a share of the regular season title with a sweep of Little Miami in the last week of the season, their first regular season wins over the Panthers since the latter's addition to the conference.

Meeron has won three ECC Coach of the Year conference awards (in 2017-18, 2019-20 and 2020-21) and has coached four ECC Players of the Year (Sarah Hansen, 2016-17; Maren Bickel, 2017-18; Nolan Brown, 2018-19; Graham Dunwoodie, 2022-23).

Meeron's tenure has also seen the expansion of Walnut's middle school program, who placed second at the Ohio middle school state championship in 2021 and 2022, losing to Solon A and Incarnation Catholic A. In 2022, they won their first ever tournament, the Northmont Middle School Invitational, and qualified for their first MSNCT in school history, where they went 3-5 and placed 93rd. In 2023, they reached MSNCT again after a win at the Miami Valley Middle School Invitational, but didn't participate in the state championship due to travel difficulties.

Current Roster

  • Eliza O'Keefe (co-captain)
  • Nico Luginbill
  • Noah Esmail
  • Graham Dunwoodie
  • Jae Goodman
  • Raghav Gangatirkar
  • Emma Smith (co-captain)
  • Selima Aousheva
  • Brodie Kreder
  • Declan Mohler
  • Miles Spieler
  • Ian Leventhal
  • Nikolai Federov
  • Jackson Riddle
  • Neil Shanbhag
  • Ana Smith
  • Rick Roychoudhury
  • Shea Dillon
  • Ben Jump
  • Tiernan Hicks
  • Cal Moore
  • Rishi Pampati
  • Lawrence Hilton
  • Benjamin Allison
  • Oliver Bayer
  • Alex Flamme

Notable Alumni