Academic Decathlon Finishes 5th at State


Mindy Luo, Staff Writer

The Academic Decathlon team placed 5th in their division at the State Championships in Sacramento from March 21-24.

According to team advisor Paul Verbanszky, 9 of the 25 members of the club represented Campolindo in the state competition, which featured 68 high school teams.  Campolindo’s division included teams from 28 schools.

The format of the competition included testing in art, economics, writing, literature, math, music, social studies, science, speech, and interview.  The entire event focused on content from the 1960’s.

Verbanszky believed that his team was well prepared. However, they still found it difficult to stay focused. “The biggest challenge we had was to stay motivated because there are other teams there who just want to hang out and that was a bit distracting so staying focus was definitely hard,” said Verbanszky.

The team tied for 3rd place in the”Super Quiz,” a fast-paced trivia challenge conducted in front of an audience of over 1000 people. 

“I was very excited,” said Verbanszky. “It’s really interesting because for the regular categories, students just take multiple-choice tests to see their ranking which is a little less exciting, but for the Super Quiz, you really get to work as a team and compete in front of an audience against other teams.”

Campolindo competitors were also recognized for individual achievements. According to Verbanszky, 4 out of the 9 Campolindo students placed well in the music category.

“It was amazing to meet so many new people and being able to hang out with my team was great. It was a lot of work, but I was happy that everyone tried their best,” said sophomore Zoe Heidersbach. “I was really lucky to be able to go to state for my 1st year on Aca-Deca.”

Non-competing club members also attended the event. “I was really proud of my teammates who competed this year and I thought they did really well, considering how there were so many teams there. They all worked so hard,” said sophomore Carmen Horenstein.

Verbanszky hopes their success this year will contribute to more wins at State next year. “I’m really proud of the team, but I’m also hoping that the team is inspired to push themselves more so we can win our division next year,” he said.