L.A.'s John Marshall High School celebrated winning the national online academic decathlon championship, with a rival team lending support.
At Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters Wednesday night, board member Bennett Kayser and Marshall High Principal Daniel Harrison presented the team with medals in individual competitions, certificates and a banner. City Councilman Tom LaBonge, a Marshall alumnus, was on hand as well to applaud the students.
Also in attendance: El Camino Real Charter High School's academic decathlon team. Marshall's head coach, Larry Welch, made note of the rivalry between the two schools.
"But we've become fast friends with El Camino," he told the crowd.
El Camino Real Charter took first place, with John Marshall in third place, in the 2014 state academic decathlon in Sacramento in March, then went on last month to take the regular national championship in Honolulu.
John Marshall's Barristers won a separate national online competition with 39,461 points, beating out the second-place winner from Texas by roughly 10,000 points. Marshall competed against 11 other large high schools from across the nation, answering questions about World War I.
On Marshall's team were Aninda Bhowmick, Kimiyo Bremer, Alexander Guillen, Kenneth Huh, Ha Min Ko, John Lascano, Wen Lee, Alayna Myrick and Marvin Paparisto.
Marvin and Wen were the overall top-scoring students in the honors division of the online competition. Aninda and Kenneth placed first and second in the scholastic division. Alexander, John and Alayna took the top three spots in the varsity division.
"People always asks, 'Where do we get these kids?' " Harrison said of the decathletes. "They're students here. They don't start off as superstars, but through hard work, they become superstars."