Academic Decathlon: It is a three-peat for the Trojans

Academic Decathlon: It is a three-peat for the Trojans

00:00 AM - February 15, 2019

The Oak Ridge team celebrates its third consecutive win at the 2019 Academic Decathlon hosted at Union Mine High School Feb. 2.

The Oak Ridge team celebrates its third consecutive win at the 2019 Academic Decathlon hosted at Union Mine High School Feb. 2. Democrat photo by Gray Baker

by Mimi Escobar/Mountain Democrat

In a display of academic brilliance the Oak Ridge High School Trojans pulled off a three-peat to win the 2019 El Dorado County Academic Decathlon. The Trojans scored 35,502.80 points in the victory at Union Mine High School on Feb. 2.

“The euphoria I felt after the third consecutive victory is indescribable,” Jeff Hassian, Oak Ridge coach. “I am so happy for these students and the efforts that went into being the first time in the history of Oak Ridge High School to win three times in a row. Oak Ridge won back to back championships in 1984 and 1985 under John Bosch and then again in 1990 and 1991 with Paul Matlack at the helm. They set the bar and I have been trying to reach it for 18 years. Creating the next legacy with these amazing students has been a wonderful experience.”

Placing second in the competition was Ponderosa High School with 33,989.50 points. El Dorado High School came in third with 31,539.30 points and Union Mine High School earned 29,374.40 for fourth place. The Nevada County team of Ghidotti Early College High School participated in the competition and scored 33,847.50 points.

The point totals reflect scores in 10 disciplines — language and literature, music, science, art, math, economics, social science, essay, speech and interview and the Super Quiz. Each school team has three honors or A-average students, three scholastic or B-average students and three varsity or C-average students. Teams may also have several alternates.

Securing Oak Ridge’s third win in a row was a score of 2,880 in the Super Quiz, a competition where team members answer questions in front of a live audience. Ponderosa and El Dorado both scored 2,660 and Union Mine scored 2,590. The focus topic for this year’s match was The 1960s: A Transformational Decade. Richard Esposito, Mountain Democrat publisher was the quiz master for the Super Quiz.

The Academic Decathlon is a national contest of academic strength with county winners advancing to the state level and the state winners going to the national competition. Oak Ridge will now advance to the state level to be held in Sacramento.

“I am proud of the commitment and dedication of the decathletes and their coaches competing here today,” said Dr. Ed Manansala, El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools. “I would also like to acknowledge the many EDCOE team members, community volunteers and sponsors involved. This is truly a community event celebrating the very best of education in El Dorado County.”

Sponsors of the El Dorado County Academic Decathlon were: SAGE (Surveyors, Architects, Geologists and Engineers of El Dorado County) providing financial support; Placerville Kiwanis providing a barbecue lunch for the decathletes and volunteers on Feb 2; and Mr. Sign providing custom flip signs for use during the Super Quiz.

Medal presenters were: Pam Bartlett, senior director of Student Success, El Dorado Union High School District; Vern Pierson, El Dorado County District Attorney; Don Ashton, El Dorado County Chief Administrative Officer; and the Honorable Dylan Sullivan, El Dorado County Judge.

The teams

El Dorado High School — honors: Riley Casentini, Jas Stevens, Jackson Storrs; scholastic: Alma Contreras, Justin Crother, Natalie William; varsity: Devin Alcazar, Hudson Matthews; coach David Conrad

Oak Ridge High School — honors: Harleen Bal, Joseph Hildebrandt, Chloe Simon; scholastic: Hennah Atebar, Jack Fowler, Rohit Ponnada; varsity: Garrett Hassian, Evan Millis, Nolan Russell; alternates: honors: Anirvin Bommaraju, Zini (Chandreyi) Chakraborty, Saumya Chandra, Bethany Glass, Serena Hassian, Adam Hurst, Jessie Ouyang, Aleena Rafiq, Ashley Sedgwick, Varuna Singh, Collin Tai, Savannah Van DeVater; scholastic: Pujan Dobaria, Mitchell Foster, Alexander Gao, Melissa Gomes, Hannah Han, Zoe Hendricks, Melissa Kinghorn, Timothy Studebaker; coach Jeff Hassian

Ponderosa High School — honors: Daniel Costello, Ryann Fox, Aaris Wood; scholastic: George Kucera, Alyssa Seeley, Alissa Thueson; varsity: Lauren Bedford, Cory Rodriguez; alternates: honors: Kylie Cox, Tyler Davidson,  Bailey Day, Skylar Downey, Nathan Fichtner, Zachary Hilliker, Luke Orris, Fischer Sherrod, Amelia Warzecha, Nathan West; scholastic: Melody Gonzalez,  Avery Tufts; coach Joey Beatty

Union Mine High School — honors: Mayci Ball, Emma Pickens, Adriana Pliego; scholastic: Kyla Denault, Sierra Moore, Russell Moore; varsity: Wyatt Barritt, Emily Martinez, Adam Satin; alternates: honors: Emily Kortan Mishler; scholastic: Jessica Sime; coach Alyssa Timmsen

Ghidotti Early College High School — honors: Hannah West, Mya  Lyman, Sarah Shine; scholastic: Christina  Martin, Owen Neylon, Angela Richards; varsity: Trenidy Dickinson, Mary Hull, Rebecca Jurado; alternate: honors: Kacey  Harmon; coach Kristanne Heaton

Medal winners

Top decathletes — Aaris Wood, Ponderosa, gold; Sarah Shine, Ghidotti Early College, silver; Chloe Simon, Oak Ridge, bronze

Top alternates — Zoe Hendricks, Oak Ridge, gold; Melissa Kinghorn, Oak Ridge, silver; Timothy Studebaker, Oak Ridge, bronze

Language and Literature — honors: Aaris Wood, Ponderosa, gold; Sarah Shine, Ghidotti, silver; Mya Lyman, Ghidotti, bronze; scholastic:  Hennah Atebar, Oak Ridge, scholastic, gold; Owen Neylon, Ghidotti, silver;  Angela Richards, Ghidotti, bronze; varsity: Lauren Bedford, Ponderosa, gold;  Evan Millis, Oak Ridge, gold; Hudson Matthews, El Dorado, silver; Rebecca Jurado, Ghidotti, bronze; Mary Hull, Ghidotti, bronze

Music — honors: Aaris Wood, Ponderosa, gold; Ryann Fox, Ponderosa, gold; Mya Lyman, Ghidott, silver; Sarah Shine, Ghidotti, bronze; scholastic: Russell Moore, gold; Jack Fowler, Oak Ridge, gold; Angela Richards, Ghidotti, silver; Owen Neylon, Ghidotti, bronze; Christina Martin, Ghidotti, bronze; varsity: Evan Millis, Oak Ridge, gold; Devin Alcazar, El Dorado, silver; Nolan Russell, Oak Ridge, bronze

Science — honors: Aaris Wood, Ponderosa, gold; Jackson Storrs, El Dorado, silver; Sarah Shine, Ghidotti, bronze; Chloe Simon, Oak Ridge, bronze; scholastic: Russell Moore, Union Mine, gold; Sierra Moore, Union Mine, silver; Alyssa Seeley, Ponderosa, bronze; Hennah Atebar, Oak Ridge, bronze; varsity: Lauren Bedford, Ponderosa, gold; Nolan Russell, Oak Ridge, silver; Adam Satin, Union Mine, bronze; Cory Rodriguez, Ponderosa, bronze

Art — honors: Aaris Wood, Ponderosa, gold; Sarah Shine, Ghidotti, silver; Mya Lyman, Ghidotti, bronze; Chloe Simon, Oak Ridge, bronze; scholastic: Christina Martin, Ghidotti, gold; Angela Richards, Ghidotti, silver; George Kucera, Ponderosa, silver; Jack Fowler, Oak Ridge, silver; Owen Neylon, Ghidotti, bronze; varsity: Trenidy Dickinson, Ghidotti, gold; Evan Millis, Oak Ridge, silver; Rebecca Jurado, Ghidotti, bronze

Math — honors: Daniel Costello, Ponderosa, gold; Joseph Hildebrandt, Oak Ridge, silver; Chloe Simon, Oak Ridge, bronze; scholastic: George Kucera, Ponderosa, gold; Rohit Ponnada, Oak Ridge, gold; Justin Crother, El Dorado, silver;  Sierra Moore, Union Mine, bronze; Hennah Atebar, Oak Ridge, bronze; varsity: Adam Satin, Union Mine, gold; Wyatt Barritt, Union Mine, gold; Rebecca Jurado, Ghidotti, silver; Lauren Bedford, Ponderosa, bronze

Economics — honors: Jackson Storrs, El Dorado, gold; Aaris Wood, Ponderosa, silver; Daniel Costello, Ponderosa, silver; Chloe Simon, Oak Ridge, bronze; Joseph Hildebrandt, Oak Ridge, bronze; scholastic: Hennah Atebar, Oak Ridge, gold; Russell Moore, Union Mine, silver; Justin Crother, El Dorado, bronze; varsity: Evan Millis, Oak Ridge, gold; Rebecca Jurado, Ghidotti, silver; Wyatt Barritt, Union Mine, silver; Garrett Hassian, Oak Ridge, bronze

Social Science — honors: Aaris Wood, Ponderosa, gold; Harleen Bal, Oak Ridge, silver; Chloe Simon, Oak Ridge, bronze; scholastic: Jack Fowler, Oak Ridge, gold; Russell Moore, Union Mine, silver; Hennah Atebar, bronze; varsity: Wyatt Barritt, gold; Evan Millis, Oak Ridge, silver; Lauren Bedford, Ponderosa, bronze

Essay — honors: Sarah Shine, Ghidotti, gold; Ryann Fox, Ponderosa, silver; Riley Casentini, El Dorado, bronze; scholastic: Jack Fowler, Oak Ridge, gold; Angela Richards, Ghidotti, silver; Hennah Atebar, Oak Ridge, bronze; varsity: Trenidy Dickinson, Ghidotti, gold; Hudson Matthews, El Dorado, silver; Evan Millis, Oak Ridge, bronze

Speech —honors: Harleen Bal, Oak Ridge, gold; Mya Lyman, Ghidotti, silver; Ryann Fox, Ponderosa, bronze; scholastic: Russell Moore, Union Mine, gold; Alyssa Seeley, Ponderosa, silver; Sierra Moore, Union Mine, bronze; varsity: Trenidy Dickinson, Ghidotti, gold; Adam Satin, Union Mine, silver; Emily Martinez, Union Mine, bronze

Interview — honors: Harleen Bal, Oak Ridge, gold; Sarah Shine, Ghidotti, silver; Daniel Costello, Ponderosa, bronze: scholastic: Angela Richards, Ghidotti, gold; Sierra Moore, Union Mine, silver; Rohit Ponnada, Oak Ridge, bronze; varsity: Rebecca Jurado, Ghidotti, gold; Trenidy Dickinson, Ghidotti, gold; Hudson Matthews, El Dorado, silver; Wyatt Barritt, Union Mine, bronze

Special recognition

Claire Dusek and Richard (Dick) Warner were acknowledged by Manansala for their many years of working and volunteering with Academic Decathlon. The audience applauded their 30-plus years of service.

For more information about the 2019 El Dorado County Academic Decathlon go to edcoe.org.

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