Granada Hills Charter wins state academic decathlon

Granada Hills Charter High School, the defending national champion in the academic decathlon, continued its march toward another title Sunday with a victory in the statewide contest.

The San Fernando Valley school beat out 68 teams in the three-day California Academic Decathlon in Sacramento. The competition included multiple choice tests, interviews, essays, speeches and a "Super Quiz" round in front of a live audience. The topic of the contests this year is India.


Students competed in three divisions based on grade-point average. Granada Hills' students won all three divisions and the team's combined score was the highest recorded for a state competition, school officials said.

Granada Hills took the Los Angeles Unified School District crown last month, and the win Sunday sends the team to the national championship next month in Anchorage.

"They will have a little bit of a break and then hit the books and refresh themselves and address the areas they need to work on," said Granada Hills coach Rachael Phipps.

The team is a favorite heading into nationals, but Phipps said the students have been following contests in other states and expect strong competition from the Texas team and potentially other squads.

"It's actually going to be close," Phipps said.

Los Angeles is a perennial powerhouse in the statewide contest; eight of the top ten finishers in Sacramento were from the county, including Franklin, Marshall, El Camino Real Charter, South Pasadena, Edgewood, Garfield and West.

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