Globe-trotting seventh-grader wins the State Geography Bee

April 03, 1993|By Ed Brandt | Ed Brandt,Staff Writer

BOWIE -- A seventh-grader from Frederick, who knew that North Korea, China and Russia are working to make their common border area a free-trade zone, won the Maryland State Geography Bee yesterday.

Jeff Raedy, 13, who attends Monocacy Middle School, already is a world traveler, having been to Europe three times. He said he hopes his next trip will be to Alaska, because he likes "wide-open spaces."

Jeff's victory ends the competition among fourth- through eighth-graders from about 750 schools across the state. More than 100 students took written examinations at Bowie State University yesterday in an attempt to reach the final panel of 10 students. The finals were held immediately afterward.

Only Jeff and Keith Burney, 13, of St. John's School in Hollywood, survived the final panel. The other eight contestants were eliminated after missing two questions. Jeff and Keith went head-to-head. They had to answer five questions posed by moderator Mac McGarry, host of "It's Academic," which appears on WJZ-TV.

The final questions:

1: Native Americans make up the largest ethnic group in two South American countries. Name one of these countries. Both contestants correctly named Peru. (The other country is Bolivia).

2: The tip of the Cape York Peninsula, which is at latitude 11 degrees south and longitude 142 degrees east, is the northernmost extension of the mainland of what continent? Jeff gave the correct answer, Australia. Keith said South America.

3: Only one continent has regions of Mediterranean climate in the North and Southern hemispheres. Name this continent. Both correctly said Africa.

4: Name the only continent through which the International Dateline passes. Keith Burney gave the correct answer, Antarctica. Jeff said North America.

The two contestants were now tied going into the final question.

5: North Korea, China and which other country are working to make their common border area a free-trade zone? Jeff correctly said Russia. Keith said Vietnam.

Jeff is the son of Raymond and Miriam Raedy of Frederick. Mr. Raedy owns pharmacies in Frederick and Salisbury and a medical supply company.

Jeff received a $100 prize and a world atlas from the National Geographic Society, which co-sponsored the event along with Maryland Public Television. Keith Burney received $75 and an atlas. Kevin Faherty, 14, placed third and won $50 and an atlas.

MPT will televise yesterday's finals tonight at 8 o'clock and Monday at 5 p.m.

Jeff will now go on to the national finals, which Alex Trabek of "Jeopardy" will host in Washington, D.C., in May. Patrick Jacobs, last year's state winner, also will attend the national finals, where the top prize will be a $25,000 college scholarship.

MPT will televise the national finals at 8 p.m. May 26.

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