Academic Decathlon Repeats as County Champion

Tristan Caro, Opinion Editor

In the stuffy and crowded boardroom of the Contra Costa County Office of Education, Campolindo’s Academic Decathlon team was announced the winner of the annual county competition. The Cougars secured their title as county champion for the second year in a row.

Campolindo’s two teams, Campo Red and Campo Blue, came in first and second respectively, shoving Miramonte off the leader board. Miramonte, last year’s runners-up, finished behind Acalanes, which placed third.

Team captains Laura Gustafson and Anastasia Fedorova were proud of their efforts. “There were high points and low points, but in the end we pulled it off,” said Fedorova.

Gustafson added, “It was a really fun experience. I’m so happy that we won.”

At the beginning of the year it was uncertain whether Campolindo would be a contender after losing experienced decathletes like Lynn Hsu and Andrew Oeth to graduation, but newcomers like Roman Wright and Zachary Scherer have earned gold medals in multiple subjects.

Another outstanding performer is Graham Wade, in the varsity division. “I’m glad to be here, I’m proud to be an academic decathlete” said Wade. Senior Anastasia Fedorova led the Campo varsity division with the most medals.

Christoph Steefel also performed well. “I really much enjoyed participating in Aca-Deca and am planning on doing it next year,” he said. Steefel scored high in physics and math, a leader in the scholastic division.

Last year, the team surprised the district when it beat Miramonte, Acalanes, and Las Lomas for the divisional championship after four years of defeat.

At the divisional competition on Saturday, February 4th, decathletes from across Contra Costa County congregated at Los Medanos college. Students took seven thirty-minute multiple-choice tests in literature, history, physics, economics, art, music, and math. At the end of the tests, the decathletes competed in a “Super Quiz Relay,” a Jeopardy-style quiz game.

On January 28th, the speech, essay, and interview competition took place. Each decathlete was interviewed by judges and delivered a prepared speech, an impromptu speech and a free response essay. Prepared speeches could be on any topic and the interviews mimicked college interviews, asking about hobbies, extracurricular activities, and favorite subjects. The essay topics were similar to essays for social studies classes, giving students the choice between three topics on Imperialism.

The scores from these speeches and essays counted toward each school’s respective totals. In the superquiz relay, Campolindo’s Red and Blue team scored 25 and 21 points respectively, with the biggest threat being Freedom High School with 19 points.