West Academic Decathlon Wins County


Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times

Danielle Perea, Co-Editor-in-Chief

  On Thursday, February 7th, West High Academic Decathlon was announced the winner of the LA County Academic Decathlon competition. At their competition in Pico Rivera on January 26th and February 2nd, they scored 54,459 out of 60,000 points, beating 38 other teams to secure their spot as county champions.

  This year’s theme was the 1960’s. It tied into categories such as art, music, economics, and science.

  Anandi Ahlawat (10), who took place in the competition, described it as hectic at first, with the students hoping to win. She said, “But of course there is always that sliver of doubt that comes with wanting to achieve a goal.”

  The students in Academic Decathlon work diligently, spending long hours after school in the library studying. Naturally, they were excited when they found out they had won.

 Ahlawat said, “When they announced West as the winner, it almost felt surreal. We had spent the last six months working day in and day out to regain West’s title, and to actually achieve it was a feeling beyond compare.”

  She also explained that the team focused more on doing their best in the competition than they did on winning.

  This is the first time in seven years West has won the LA County competition. Every team member received a medal and half the team was recognized as individuals.

  Kendall Kirio (11) was recognized as the top overall individual scorer in the competition. Jeremy Gong (12) was the second-highest scoring scholastic and Anoushka Gupta (11) was the top scholastic and third-highest scorer in the competition.

  Kirio felt a rush after the competition. She said, “We in academic decathlon start preparing for this competition in April, and spend hours every day perfecting our speeches and studying. When it’s finally over, it’s like having finished a marathon.”

  West High Academic Decathlon will move on to the state contest, which will be held from March 22nd to the 24th in Sacramento.