She's going to Disney World! Mast wins the inaugural War of the Roses Grammar Bowl

Down 3-1 in the best-of-seven, head-to-head final round of the inaugural EGUMPP Grammar Bowl, it did not look good for L-S freshman Kristen Mast when her opponent, Hempfield freshman Ryan Zhang, rang in to answer the potential winning question.
Kristen Mast and Ryan Zhang face off in the
championship round of the EGUMPP Grammar Bowl


His answer, however, was incorrect. Thus, Mast received an uncontested opportunity of which she made the most, correctly identifying a subordinating conjunction, noun, and direct object in an example sentence to make the score 3-2.


Again, Zhang rang in to answer the next question, but again, his answer was incorrect, which gave Mast another opportunity. She again took advantage, this time finding an appositive and main verb intransitive to tie it up at three.


Mast wasted no time on the final question, ringing in almost instantaneously to identify a subordinating conjunction and a main verb of the linking variety to win the first annual War of the Roses Grammar Bowl.
Kristen Mast with her parents (Karen and Brian) after being crowned champion
"It said subordinating conjunction so I just found one at the beginning and went from there," explains Mast in regards to how she answered the last question so quickly.


As grand champion, Mast wins a trip for her family to go to Disney World, a $1,000 college scholarship, Dr. Dre Beats Headphones, and $75 worth of Visa gift cards.


"I just wanted the scholarship," she says. "When I saw who I was against (in the final round), I was like, well, at least I got the scholarship."


Jansen Miller competes during the opening rounds of the event
Other Lampeter-Strasburg participants in the all-freshmen competition were Jansen Miller, who made it to the second round of competition, and Garen Middleton.

The contest was sponsored by EGUMPP, an online grammar curriculum. Participants completed about 15 hours of online modules and scored 91% or higher on module assessments before being invited to a semifinal test from which the top 27 participants were invited to the on-stage competition. 175 students registered online to start the process.


"We're trying to bring back grammar in a big way," says Bob Safran, the creator of EGUMPP and CEO of the Consolidated School of Business, who coordinated and moderated the event, which occurred at Central York Middle School.

Safran co-hosted the event with FOX 43 sports director Todd Sadowski. Apple Automotive served as a primary sponsor.

The 27 participants in the 2016 EGUMPP Grammar Bowl

After a practice round, contestants began head-to-head elimination rounds. The first round focused on identifying word functions. Each head-to-head battle was the best of five, and each L-S competitor had some success.


Miller correctly identified that "Today" is an adverb in the following sentence: Today autism affects many children.


Garen Middleton competes in the first round
of the Grammar Bowl
Middleton noted that "zoo" was the object of the preposition in his sentence: "There are six panda bears at our zoo."

Mast knew that "My" was an adjective in the sentence: "My alarm rang at midnight."

Mast and Miller advanced to the second round wherein contestants identified phrases and clauses, choosing from gerund, participial, infinitive, prepositional, appositive and infinitive phrases and noun, adjective, and adverb clauses for a stipulated set of words in each given sentence.


Miller struggled with timing his buzzer, and was eliminated. Mast fell behind 2-1 before answering the last two correctly to make it to round three.


The third round required contestants to identify types of sentences including simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. For example, Mast identified "Jillian will personally review all applications and make the final decision" as a simple sentence (a sentence that contains only one clause).
Kristen Mast, you've just won the EGUMPP Grammar Bowl.
What are you going to do now?

During the final two rounds, contestants received two or three components of a sentence and had to choose from three sentences projected on the screen which one contained all stipulated components. For example, one sentence had a main verb transitive, a main verb intransitive, and an indirect object; the sentence that contained all three was, "Kevin sent his boss the financial report and went to lunch."


Of the final four contestants, Mast was the only female, something that surprised Safran, who told the audience that in past grammar bowls he had hosted in Arizona, almost all finalists were female.


Ultimately, though, it only takes one to win, and for the rest of her life, Kristen Mast will know she is the inaugural Grammar Bowl champion. She's going to Disney World!


--Benjamin Pontz, LSNews.org Editor-In-Chief; Photos by Lauren Mast, LSNews.org Director of Sports Photography

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