Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2008-04-04

Hunter Bledsoe, an eighth grade student at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School, won the Geographic Bee state finals at Samford University Friday, April 4.

Bledsoe placed first among 99 other competitors from schools in 24 counties to win the title. Each qualified for the event after winning contests in their schools and placing among the top 100 scorers in the state on a test administered by the National Geographic Society. All competitors are in grades four through eight.

Bledsoe will represent Alabama at the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C. May 20-21. He is the son of Lisa and Ken Bledsoe.

Friday, he won a $100 cash prize, a National Geographic globe and an all-expenses paid trip to the national finals.

Finalists were Hunter Hammock, a fifth grader at Verner Elementary School, Tuscaloosa, second place; and Andrew Fix, an eighth grader at Mountain Brook Junior High, third place.

To win the state title, Bledsoe correctly answered "Bay of Bengal" to identify the arm of the Indian Ocean into which the Krishna, Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers flow.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.