Decathlon gets eighth in state competitions

Academic Decathlon took eighth overall in the state competition held March 19-22 in Sacramento, placing the team among the top ten in the entire nation.

In order to prepare for their state competition, students met four times a week for two to four hours. They spent their time helping each other and reviewing all the material, that may be on the test.

The team scored an overall of  50,924.7 points. This not only means that the members placed top ten in the state, but also likely places them in the top ten of the nation, as California is the most competitive state in the competition. This is an achievement for the Decathlon team, as this is the highest they have ever placed at state.

“We are currently ranked eighth in the state, which is a very privileged position. It will be extremely difficult to maintain this standing, because the competition at the California state level is essentially as difficult as that on the national level,” senior and captain Divya Prajapati said prior to the competition.

In addition to placing eighth in state and scoring the highest in the county, the Decathlon team members were all able to meet their personal goals for the competition and beat Westminster High, who had outscored them in the county competition. Finally, what makes this feat all the more rewarding is that the team was able to achieve this without their top performing student in the Orange County competition, senior Kevin Li.

“The most worrying thing about the competition is the pressure from my teammates to do well. All our scores are extremely important, and I would hate to be the person that lets my peers down,” junior and participant Jai Kakwani said.

Through their process of intense preparation, students learned much more than new algebra concepts or science information.

“The biggest thing I have learned from Academic Decathlon is don’t procrastinate. Study hard for a long time,” junior and participant Joseph Kim said.

After years of seeing many students participate in Academic Decathlon, coach Shan Wu said that dedication and good work ethic are the most prevalent qualities in successful members in the team.

“I think all students can do well in Academic Decathlon. The most successful participants are the ones who have dedication and good work ethic” Wu said.