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 | Mary McCoy | Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University’s Annual Brain Bowl Pits Area Catholic, Private Schools in Academic Battle of the Best

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It was a battle of some of the area’s brightest high school students as Saint Leo University hosted its annual Brain Bowl on Wednesday, April 10.

Sponsored by the College of Arts, Sciences, and Allied Services, the academic competition pitted area Catholic high schools and one local private school against each other to answer questions. 

Topics ran the gamut, from the Seven Deadly Sins to Tallest Buildings Throughout History, and categories from “Don’t Breathe in the Poisonous Gases,” to “No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.” Team members’ knowledge of languages, the arts, popular culture, physics, math, biology, history, and more were tested as they battled in sessions throughout the day. It was a full day of competition and fun, including a pizza lunch.

Competing teams were Santa Fe Catholic High School (SFC) from Lakeland;Clearwater Central Catholic High School (CCC); Jesuit High School from Tampa; Trinity Catholic High School from Ocala; St. Petersburg Catholic High School (SPC); Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School (BMCHS) from Shady Hills; Tampa Catholic High School; and Academy at the Lakes from Land O’ Lakes.

The final round came down to the 2023 Brain Bowl runners-up Jesuit High School versus newcomers to Saint Leo’s annual Brain Bowl, Academy at the Lakes. With Saint Leo political science instructor Frank Orlando posing the questions, the two teams competed for the title. Claiming victory was Jesuit High School with a score of 315 while Academy at the Lakes was runner-up with 210 points. 

“These were two highly qualified teams,” Orlando noted before announcing the scores. 

Making up the Jesuit team were Nicolas Miranda, Jacob Judson, Diego Tobon (captain), Daniel Dewey, Rhys Marriott, and Hendrix Bromberg. Academy at the Lakes team members were Eugene Ross, Ian Curry, Eugene Ross Vivian Olivera, and Nina Lee. 

Judson said the Jesuit team learned from its experience as runners-up last year. The team met and practiced every Tuesday. “We put in the work,” he said. “We wanted to show everyone that we could win.” 

Dr. Susan Kinsella, vice president of Academic Affairs, congratulated all the teams and said this was the largest Brain Bowl the university has hosted. “We’re excited to have you here on our campus,” she said. “As you can see with all of our faculty volunteering here, we have a love of learning, and we encourage you to have that love of learning and have fun while you learn.

“As students, you love a challenge and are very competitive,” she said of observing the teams during their matches and the final round. Please keep thinking about our campus when you’re thinking about colleges!”

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is a Catholic Benedictine university dedicated to helping learners of all backgrounds and ages gain the competence and courage to be more. Offering 57 degree programs to more than 14,190 students each year, the nonprofit university is known for providing a values-based education in the liberal arts tradition and a community of belonging for those who seek a greater purpose in life. Saint Leo is regionally accredited and offers a campus in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, regional education centers, and several online programs. The university is home to more than 104,000 alumni. Learn more at

Media Contact: Mary McCoy, Senior Editor & Media Relations Manager,, (352) 588-7118 or cell (813) 610-8416