Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2006-03-31

Lowell Van Ness, an eighth grader at Bumpus Middle School, Hoover, won top honors at the Geographic Bee state finals at Samford University Friday (MARCH 31).

Van Ness, age 13, bested 99 other competitors from schools in 27 Alabama counties to claim the title. He will represent the state in the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., May 23-24. Competitors were in grades four through eight.

As state champ, Van Ness won a $100 cash prize, a National Geographic globe and an all-expenses paid trip to the national finals.

Runners-up were Zach Sullivan, age 13, a seventh grade student at Westminster Christian Academy in Huntsville, second place; and Alan Smith, age 14, of Montevallo, an eighth grade home schooled student with Hope Christian School, third place. Each received a National Geographic globe.

The National Geographic Bee program is sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

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About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.