Latin League brings home the “aurum”

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The Latin League at the certamen.  Photo courtesy of Michelle Gan.
The Latin League at the certamen. Photo courtesy of Michelle Gan.

The Latin League ended its competitive season with a bang at the Townsend Harris Regional Certamen. The novice and advanced teams took first place and the intermediate team finished second.

Novice team members and sophomores Sandhya Sewnauth, Jesal Parmar, Joyce Lyeu, and Syeda Hassan had their first victory at this certamen. THHS’s novice team beat that of Maspeth High School in the final round, with 60 points.
Club advisor and Latin teacher Jonathan Owens shook his head as they handed him their trophy, saying, “It was all you guys.”
Jesal said, “The competition was really fun. It was challenging because I didn’t know what to expect, so I studied a lot for it. And in the end it was a team effort. It felt really good to have all that work pay off because we came so close at Brooklyn Latin and we wanted to win, so we worked extra hard this time.”
The intermediate team lost a battle to Stuyvesant High School in the final round. The team members were juniors Hema Venkata, Christina Wang, Amanda Yan, and Romil Parikh, who gave it their all.
Hema said, “Both teams played really well. I’m proud of how far the Townsend team came, and there’s always next year.”

Advanced team members and seniors Morgan Wu, Samantha Velasquez, Michelle Gan, and Jasmine Teu brought home the gold with an equally fierce competition against Hunter College High School. Only two of the Latin League presidents competed, seniors Samantha Velasquez and Jasmine Teu. Jonathan Chung and Maham Ghani were moderators for this certamen.

Jasmine said, “Going into this competition, I wasn’t as prepared as I usually am, and I was a little skeptical of how well we’d do; it was hard to find the willingness to study, especially since it’s the end of the year and all my classes are pretty much over. But once we actually started playing, I realized the questions weren’t as difficult as I expected and thought that we had a pretty good shot of winning. It was nice to end what is probably going to be my last certamen on a victorious note.”

Michelle added, “Winning our last certamen ever and breaking the senior curse was the best way to end my three years on Latin League. It’d been a while since our last competition, so I forgot how much I loved competing. We [the seniors] didn’t really go in expecting to win but we realized that we knew a lot more than we thought we did. All of us on the senior team took AP Latin and that helped a lot. It was a team effort and everyone answered and contributed.”

Latin League certamina consist of three rounds per level where schools answer questions based on grammar, Roman culture, mythology, and more. Latin league club members and other Harrisites served as moderators, score keepers, and assisted Mr. Owens, making sure everything ran smoothly for the event. The questions were all created by classical languages teacher Dr. Marianthe Colakis, who read them during the finals round.

With additional reporting by Sandhya Sewnauth