Seventh-grader Robert Van Batenburg topped a field of more than 185 schoolmates at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School to win the school championship in the National Geographical Society's 2013 Geography Bee.
If he scores within the top 100 Connecticut school winners in a written exam, Van Batenburg will advance to the statewide bee, on April 5 at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.
State winners will compete in national competition May 20-22 in Washington, D.C., moderated by Alex Trebek, host of the syndicated television quiz show "Jeopardy!"
The St. Thomas contest involved students in grades five through eight. Michael Fickes finished second and Ryan Cimmino third among seven finalists.
Other finalists were Alexa Cimmino, Dan Fitzgerald, Mary Rose Flannigan and Ethan Vayda.