Published on April 4, 2014 by Mary Wimberley  
Christian Gonzalez

Christian Gonzalez, an eighth grade student at Covenant Christian Academy in Huntsville, Ala., won first place in the State Geographic Bee, held Friday (April 4) at Samford University.  He will represent Alabama in the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.

Gonzalez, son of Laura and George Gonzalez, correctly answered "Kara" to name the sea in the Arctic Ocean that separates the Taymyr Peninsula from the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago to win the championship round.

He received $100 and other prizes, in addition to an all-expenses-paid trip to the national finals.

Christopher Lough, an eighth grade student at Prattville Christian Academy and last year's first place winner, finished second.  He is the son of Brandi and Chris Lough.

James Perry, a seventh grade student at The Donoho School in Anniston, Ala., finished third.  He is the son of Robbi and Tracy Perry.

Alabama's top 101 geography students, all in grades four through eight, competed in the event, hosted by the Samford geography department.  The competitors had qualified after winning contests in their schools and placing among the top scorers in the state on a test administered by the National Geographic Society.  They represented schools in 22 counties.


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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.