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Hail to the Repeat Academic Champs : * Laguna Hills High Successfully Defends Scholastic Decathlon Title

The California Academic Decathlon grew out of an Orange County event, so it is especially gratifying to see one of the county’s own entrants--Laguna Hills High School--win the state competition for the second year in a row. Team captain Jay Kim also won the top individual award in the highest division. Congratulations are in order.

The contest, which began as a local event 23 years ago, has grown into a national competition in which high schools from 45 states participate. The national meet is April 19-21 at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

The decathlon isn’t just for straight-A students. Each school that participates sends “honors,” “scholastic” and “varsity” players who must work together for months in order to win. The competition itself is also well rounded, including essay-writing, oratory and academic skills. It concludes with a Super Quiz, patterned after TV’s “Jeopardy!”

Competition is fierce. Laguna Hills has traditionally done well at the events, but team members were heartbroken last year to lose the national title by just three questions. They hope to avenge their loss this year.

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We wish them luck. But, no matter how they perform at Occidental, they can be proud of their showing so far.


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