Washington state

Redmond teen wins geography bee

WASHINGTON - What city, divided by a river of the same name, was the imperial capital of Vietnam?

The answer to this question - Hue - won 14-year-old Caitlin Snaring from Redmond a $25,000 college scholarship Wednesday at the 19th annual National Geographic Bee. Caitlin is only the second girl to win in the bee's history.

"I don't know why more girls aren't interested in geography," she told reporters after winning the championship round. "I wanted a girl winner this year."

This was Caitlin's second time representing Washington at the competition, which challenges 10-to-14-year-old knowledge of geography, culture and geology. Last year, she was eliminated in the preliminary round. Her father, David Snaring, said she started studying for the 2007 bee the day after her loss.

This time around, Caitlin did not miss a single question in two days of intense competition.

During her introductory banter with the bee's moderator, "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek, Caitlin revealed that her other passion is studying the history of pottery and making ceramic replicas. Recently, her interests have been particularly captured by Greek and Minoan pottery, she said.

Besides her father, Caitlin was joined by her mother, Traci Snaring, and 13-year-old brother, Carl. Her grandmothers, Selma Snaring and Betty Hedge, also attended.

Fifty-five participants between fifth and eighth grade came to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national bee. They represented the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Pacific Territories and the Department of Defense dependent schools. Questions

Examples of the more than 50 questions asked in the final rounds of the National Geographic Bee:

Silbo, a code language whistled across the hilly terrain of a North Atlantic island group, became required learning in schools in order to save it from extinction. Silbo can be heard on the island of Gomera, administered by what country?

Until the late 1800s, people on a present-day island country practiced cannibalism using forks like the one seen here. Name this country, whose largest island is Viti Levu.

Name the item that does not belong, and say why: Davis Strait, Strait of Gibraltar, Luzon Strait, Cook Strait, Bering Strait.

The second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa is also the richest Portuguese-speaking country in Africa. Name this country.

The major mountain ranges on Earth's seven continents are dwarfed in length by an underwater range that runs from just north of the Antarctic Circle to north of the Arctic Circle. Name this submarine mountain range.

Answers: 1. Spain. 2. Fiji. 3. Cook Strait, the only one listed that is in the Southern Hemisphere. 4. Angola. 5. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

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