CORVALLIS - The Oregon State Geography Bee will be at Oregon State University on Friday, April 9, as 100 of the state's young geographical whizzes compete for an ultimate prize of $25,000.

This is the third consecutive year OSU has hosted the event, which is sponsored by the National Geographic Society and Bank1One. The preliminary round of oral competition will begin at 1 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center with the final round to start at 3 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

"This is a popular event that usually attracts about 500 people, including teachers and parents," said Sheri Ruegsegger, state coordinator for the contest. "A single winner will be chosen to represent Oregon at the national finals on May 25-26 in Washington, D.C., where the top prize includes a $25,000 college scholarship and trip to Australia."

That, of course, is if the contestant knows the answer to a question like this: "What U.S. state capital was founded as a gold rush town and isn't linked to the rest of its state by roads?"

Too easy. Juneau, Alaska. But lest you think you're ready for prime time, answer these:

- "The Skeleton Coast, site of many shipwrecks, is located along the coastal desert of which country in southern Africa?"

- "What river flows from its source near Lake Baikal across Siberia to the Laptev Sea?"

If you could whip out the correct answers - Namibia and the Lena River - you might be able to compete with the fourth through eighth graders who will be going for the prize.

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Gordon Matzke, 541-737-1217