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Darien student wins state Geography Bee second year in a row

Published 12:29 pm, Sunday, April 22, 2012
  • Michael Borecki stands with with Barbara Ivey. Photo: Contributed Photo
    Michael Borecki stands with with Barbara Ivey. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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Michael Borecki, a seventh-grader from Middlesex Middle School in Darien, has won the Connecticut Geographic Bee for the second year in a row.

Michael, who is the sixth Darien student to win the bee since it began in 1989, answered 20 questions, missing only two, to clinch top place.

He won a check for $100, a complete digital set of National Geographic magazines and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national competition on May 24 and 25.

About 100 students in fourth through eighth grades competed in the Conn. Geography Bee, which was held at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain and is part of a national competition organized by the National Geographic Society. The students who participated in Friday's contest won their own school geography bee and then scored in the top 100 in a 70 question written test to qualify for the state bee.

"There's a lot of pressure, but it's fun, especially when we go down to Washington, D.C.," Michael said after his win.

Michael's mother, Yvette Borecki, said that her son has been interested in maps and geography since he was a small child. He first entered the geography bee when he was in fourth grade and started preparing with Barbara Ivey, who is a Middlesex Middle School librarian and has a keen interest in geography.

Ivey said that she and Michael have been working together about three or four afternoons a week for the past few weeks to get ready for Friday's competition.

"We pretty much talked about every country in the world," Ivey said, taking them one by one, covering culture, mountain ranges, exports, politics and natural resources.

In the first round, Michael glided through all eight questions, answering each correctly. He knew Uruguay is not landlocked, while Botswana and Paraguay are. And he knew the Canary Islands belong to Spain.

Afterward, Michael said the first round seemed easier than the previous year, however, the finalist round for the top 10 competitors was harder and more pressure-filled. The competition was so intense that Brad Drazen, the NBC Connecticut News anchor who moderated, felt the need to tell the contestants they had to remember to breathe.