West Acadec Takes 8th at State


Anoushka Gupta, Sports Editor

   The West High Academic Decathlon team competed at the California State Academic Decathlon Competition from March 24-26 in Sacramento. The team, who placed 8th at State, was invited to compete in the competition after an impressive county performance where they placed 3rd.

  Throughout the course of the three day competition, the eight member team participated in a variety of events, including seven objective events, Art, Language/ Literature, Economics, Math, Music, Science, and Social Science, and three subjective events, Speech, Interview, and Impromptu. The subjects were divided amongst the three days, with objectives on Friday March 23, subjectives on Saturday March 24, and an awards ceremony on Sunday March 25.  

   First year member of West High’s Academic Decathlon team, Anandi Ahlawat (9), said, “Personally state was a bit overwhelming. I had to apply all my preparation over the course of an entire year in two days and hope in the end of it all that I would win something. Although it was a bit of a rush to deal with, it was also a great bonding experience for me and my teammates.”

  Individually, West High earned various awards. Notably, Kendall Kirio, (10) the top scorer on the team, won a silver medal in Social Science and Music; Yilei Dong (12) won a silver medal in Science and a Bronze medal in Science; Annie Dai (11) won a Bronze medal in Science; Jeremy Gong (11) won a Gold medal in Interview; and Dongho Kang (12) won a Silver in Speeches.

  The competition also featured a major upset by El Camino Real, who overtook the reigning national champions, Granada Hills, as the overall top scoring team. El Camino Real performed exceptionally well this year, with their top scorer, Maya Teitz, getting the highest score in Academic Decathlon history.

   Now that competition has ended, West High’s Academic Decathlon is ready to start recruiting for the next year. Member Kendall Kirio said, “Coming out of state, it’s just a fresh start for the year. Of course, we’ll get a break-we AcaDec kids need them too! But soon we’ll be back to it, building the team for the next year and getting pumped to learn about the 60’s, next years topic! This is actually one of our most exciting times because it’s just getting to know some new people and show them the ropes. I can’t wait to get started!”