Weijia Cheng

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Weijia Cheng
Weijia Cheng.jpg

Pictured with the 2017 ACF Nationals trophy

Noted Subjects:
Religion, History, Economics, China, Computer Science
Current Collegiate Team Maryland (2015–present)
Past Collegiate Teams None
High School Team Centennial (MD) (2012–2015)
Middle School Team None

Weijia Cheng currently plays for Maryland, where he was a member of the team that rode Jordan Brownstein's coattails to the championship at 2017 ACF Nationals. His lovable demeanor has led to his regularly being likened to a young Chris Manners.

Weijia played at Centennial High in Ellicott City, Maryland, where his team lost on a tiebreaker in the JV finals of the 2013 National History Bowl. As a senior, he was the top scorer on the Centennial team that finished in 26th place at 2015 NSC.

In his freshman year at Maryland, Weijia was by far the highest scorer on a Maryland B team that finished in 13th place in Division II at 2016 ICT; in preliminary rounds, he finished as the eighth-highest scorer in Division II. At that year's ACF Nationals, playing on a hastily-constructed three-man team alongside fellow freshmen Justin Hawkins and Jason Shi, he led Maryland B to a third-bracket finish (28th place overall) and fourth place among Division II teams; his 33 points per game in preliminary rounds put him in eighth place once again among Division II players. At this tournament, he recorded a buzz on a tossup on the Etruscans so early that moderator Rob Carson recorded it on his scoresheet as 15 points, making him one of the few individuals known to have powered a tossup at ACF Nationals.

Following the graduation of Naveed Chowdhury, Weijia was promoted for the 2016–17 season to Maryland A alongside Jordan Brownstein, Sam Rombro, and Ophir Lifshitz. With his normal niche of history more than capably filled by Jordan Brownstein, Weijia was asked to learn religion and economics. He performed this task with alacrity, becoming by the end of the year likely the best active religion player in all of quizbowl. After rolling through the regular-season competition of the Mid-Atlantic region with ease and becoming the first Maryland team to ever achieve a #1 ranking in the national poll, Maryland recorded a very disappointing fourth-place finish at 2017 ICT as Weijia recorded a meager 8.50 points per 20 tossups heard.

Maryland bounced back at 2017 ACF Nationals, recording a 13–1 record in preliminary and playoff rounds with the only blemish a loss to Michigan. He displayed spectacular consistency during the tournament, scoring either 10 or 20 points in 10 out of 13 rounds and converting nearly every religion tossup. During the final, which Maryland won over Michigan 250–175, Weijia did not buzz a single time, as teammate Sam Rombro negged him out of a tossup on planting trees in Judaism; nevertheless, his 0 points made him Maryland's second-highest scorer in the final, behind Jordan's 80 points but ahead of Sam and Ophir's -5 points.