Before a cheering throng at a local campus gymnasium, a team from Marshall High School on Saturday won the Super Quiz portion of the Academic Decathlon for the Los Angeles Unified School District. The overall winner will be announced Friday.
The Super Quiz is the one portion of the Academic Decathlon that is held in public, and various teams have supporters rooting them on as students tackle questions and scores are posted.
The decathletes from Marshall, which is in Los Feliz, nailed 67 points out of a possible 72, finishing one ahead of perennial powerhouse Granada Hills Charter High School, the defending national champion. In third was another familiar contender, El Camino Real Charter High School, with a score of 63. Both Granada and El Camino are located in the west San Fernando Valley.
The local decathlon competition is split into two portions, one with schools from L.A. Unified and one with schools from other school systems in Los Angeles County. The county also staged its Super Quiz on Saturday. Finishing first was South Pasadena High School, followed by West High School in Torrance and Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra. The county competition was hosted by El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera.
This year's study topic in both competitions was World War II.
Each tournament has 10 portions that contribute to the scoring, and all had to relate to World War II. The first day of L.A. Unified's competition took place Jan. 28 at the Roybal Learning Center, west of downtown, with students demonstrating their skills at delivering a speech, participating in interviews and composing essays.
Saturday's wrap-up competition also was held at Roybal. In the morning, students tested in eight subjects: art, economics, language and literature, math, music, science and social science. The Super Quiz began in the afternoon.
Each school team comprises nine students: three with grade-point averages of 2.99 or lower; three with GPAs of 3.00 to 3.74 and three with 3.75 or higher.
The county competition involved 43 official teams and 17 junior teams from 26 school districts. In L.A. Unified, 62 teams participated.
The state competition will take place in March in Sacramento. Teams from L.A. Unified schools have claimed 17 national titles since 1987.