‘Ready for the bee’ St. Al’s Luke Eckstein headed for national contest

Published 11:42 am Wednesday, May 11, 2011

With his correct naming of the former capital of New Zealand, St. Aloysius eighth-grader Luke Eckstein won a trip to Washington, D.C., and a chance to compete with 53 other finalists to be crowned champion of the National Geographic Bee later this month.

Eckstein won the Mississippi geography title April 1, answering “Auckland” to the final question in the elimination round.

The state competition, with 64 students vying for the title, was held on the Rankin campus of Hinds Community College. Luke defeated a former state winner and won $100 on his way to the national bee.

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In D.C., he could win $25,000, a trip to the Galapagos Islands and a chance to compete internationally.

“I really like history, and history ties in with geography a lot,” Luke said. “If you know history, you are going to know a lot about geography.”