Friday, May 22, 1992 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Geography Bee Victory Came Eez -- Vancouver, Wash. Boy, 13, Walks Off With 1St Prize


WASHINGTON - With a perfect record over two days, 13-year-old Lawson Fite won the National Geography Bee with EEZ yesterday.

Fite, of Vancouver, Wash., claimed the title by explaining that "EEZ" stands for an exclusive economic zone. That's an area extending 200 miles from a nation's coast in which it claims a sovereign right for resource exploration.

Fite, an eighth-grader at Shumway Middle School, edged out Geoffrey Hatchard, 13, of Cresco, Pa., who incorrectly answered that an EEZ was an "environmental" economic zone.

Michael Sherback, 14, of North Easton, Mass., finished third.

As the winner, Fite gets a $25,000 college scholarship and round-trip, first-class tickets for four to any Amtrak destination. The second- and third-place winners get scholarships of $15,000 and $10,000, and all three awards will accumulate interest until the students enroll. The top 10 finalists each get $500 in cash.

Asked if he had expected the win, Fite quipped, "only in my most neurotic dream."

"The competition seems a lot harder this year," said Fite who, like runner-up Hatchard, also competed in 1991. "Maturity" and an intense study of publications, quiz cards, atlases and maps accounted for this year's win, he said.

Hatchard's first miss in the championship round came when he was asked the term for a submarine mountain or volcano. The correct answer is "seamount."

Nearly 6 million sixth- through eighth-grade students competed in the various levels of the 1992 National Geography Bee.

--------------------- FINAL-ROUND QUESTIONS ---------------------

Here are the questions asked in the championship round of the National Geography Bee yesterday:

Q. A proposed territory for the Inuit people of Canada would be the largest aboriginal land-claim settlement ever made. What name is currently proposed for this territory?

A. Nunavut.

Q. What is the term for a submarine mountain or volcano?

A. Seamount.

Q. Four of the most populous cities in the world are in Latin America. Name three of these cities.

A. Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo.

Q. The year 1815 was known as "the year without a summer" because of the ash cloud that circled the earth after the eruption of Mount Tambora. Tambora is one of the many volcanoes that make up the landscape of what island country?

A. Indonesia.

Q. Many coastal countries have established so-called EEZs - areas extending 200 nautical miles from shore over which countries have sovereign rights for resource exploration. What do the initials EEZ stand for?

A. Exclusive Economic Zone.

Compiled by the Associated Press

Copyright (c) 1992 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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