AcaDeca Squeaks out Win over District Rivals

Kevin Fong, Editor-in-Chief

The Academic Decathlon team won their first competition against district rival Acalanes. The tournament, held in the Campo Library, was the first of 4 that will be contested in the following 4 months.

The tournament allowed the team to see how it stacks up against the district competition, according to AcaDeca adviser Paul Verbanszky. “We did incredibly well, but not with a large enough point margin to be safe,” he explained.

Team member Annie Guo said that the tournament served as an eye opener, showing Campo that their rivals have strong Decathletes. Verbanzsky added, “Our biggest challenges are the speech, essay, and interview portions.”

However, in spite of these concerns, the competition saw senior Roman Wright and junior Christoph Steefel each earned a top three spots for mathematics, science, and language/literature. “It was obvious people put a lot of work into it,” said Guo.  According to co-captain Laura Gustafson, the team intends to improve in upcoming competitions. “I think if we keep it up and work a little bit harder we should do well,” she said.

The goal of the team this year is to improve on last year’s success, according to Verbanszky. Last year, the “A” Team won the County competition while the “B” Team took second. At the State competition, the “A” team placed sixth. This year, Verbanszky has higher goals. He said, “If we make it to State, my goal is to win our division.” Gustafson has the same goals, adding, “I think we can if we work hard enough.”

With the graduation of many seniors on the team, this year has a different demographic. Verbanszky explained, “We’re very heavy with juniors.”

This year’s theme for Academic Decathlon competitions is Russia. All of the AcaDeca competitions will relate back to this theme but increase in difficulty through the year. Last Wednesday’s competition tested the decathletes knowledge of science of the space race, the novel Doctor Zhivago and other Russian literature, and mathmatics. According to Gustafson, the next competition will be on Russian social science, history, and music.