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Academic Decathlon team advances to state competition

The Burbank High School Academic Decathlon team has advanced to the state championship after finishing fifth at the Los Angeles County Academic Decathlon earlier this month.

Led by long-time Burbank High English teacher Val Beidelman, students Benjamin Reyes, Hector Santa Cruz, Mariam Kyarunts, Rafael Santa Cruz, Audrey Min, Amanda Porreca, Marc Hoffman and Bruno Maynez faced off against competitors from 47 other Southern California high schools during two days of competition on Jan. 29 and Feb. 5.

Burbank High finished with a team score of 40,600 out of 60,000, good enough for fifth place. West High School in Torrance won the competition for the third consecutive year with a score of 44,476 points. The top eight teams advance to the state competition, which kicks off on March 12 in Sacramento.

Reyes, a senior and Burbank High Academic Decathlon president, earned an award for individually scoring more than 8,000 points. The team also won several sectional awards, including first place in the oral super quiz and third place in the super quiz.