Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Mark Hebert

Benton is best at MES GeoBee


January 22, 2020

Mark Hebert

Last Thursday, Malta Elementary School hosted their annual GeoBee and fifth grade student Bridger Benton took first place and Kayla Ottinger took second. Pictured above are the Bee's contestants; from the left; Forrest Bessman, Dawson Jones, John Finn Witmer, Steeler Blunt, Benton, Madasyn Richan, John Ritchey, and Ottinger.

Rain that falls on the slopes of Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park eventually flows to the Pacific, the Atlantic and which other ocean?

Give up?

Malta Elementary School fifth grade student Bridger Benton knew, and correctly answered "Arctic" on his way to the 2020 elementary school Geography Bee last Thursday.

"I am excited," Benton said in his post win interview. Benton, who studied for the GeoBee much of the previous day and tied for first place in his classes' primary heat of the Bee, said he was feeling confident before the day's event, but not sure he would win.

Mark Hebert

Malta Middle School GeoBee Placers where, from the left, Madelyn Oh, third, Tova Anderson, champion, and Ariyanna Constante, second.

"I didn't know how well I would do against the fourth graders, and Forrest, Finn and John all did really well in our class," Benton said.

The contestants at the MES GeoBee were fourth and fifth grade students Benton, Kayla Ottinger (who took second place), Steeler Blunt, Dawson Jones, Forrest Bessman, Madasyn Richan, John Richey (third), and Finn Witmer; Phillips County Superintendent of Schools Darlene Kolczak was the emcee, Rosemary S. Veseth the judge, and Steve Schumacher the event's timer.

At the Malta Middle School GeoBee held last Friday, Tova Anderson earned the championship, Ariyanna Constante took second, and Madelyn Ohl finished in third.

Next up for Benton and Anderson will be a written Geography Bee test to see if they qualify for the State of Montana GeoBee in March in hopes of qualifying for the National Event held in Washington, D.C. in May. The State and National Events are sponsored by National Geographic magazine.


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