AcaDeca Wins State, Heads to Nationals


The Academic Decathlon team won the Medium School title at the State Competition on March 17 and will be advancing to the US Online National Competition.

Luther Kuefner, Staff Writer

The Academic Decathlon team claimed the California title in the Medium School division during the 34th Annual State Competition on March 17.

The team now advances to the United States Academic Decathlon Online National Competition on April 4 and 26.

According to junior Zach Scherer, Campo also snagged the Most Improved award, moving from 40th to 24th place overall, with a score of 42,994.8 out of 65,400.

Coach Paul Verbansky said, “This is the first time, as far as we know, that a school from Northern California has placed to compete in Nationals.”

15 individual medals were awarded to Campo, including a medal for junior Marina Han, who scored the highest on the Social Science test in Division III.

“I was surprised, because I improved my score a lot; social science is not my strongest subject,” said Han.

Junior Tristan Caro earned the highest essay score of 944. Caro not only won in the Scholastic division, but he also dominated every other score in Division III. According to Caro, the testing committee chose one out of three prompts regarding Boris Pasternak’s novel, Doctor Zhivago, which allowed him to write an effective essay.

“The prompt was comparing the main character’s lovers to his life. It was a relief. It gave me a lot of room to put my own thoughts into the essay and be creative,” said Caro.

Moving from this victory, the Acadeca team will continue to practice for the competition in April. According to Han, the results from the state competition will help them decide which subjects to emphasize.

“The tests at the On-line competition will be harder and focus on more specific information than those at the state level. I think people will make presentations about what to focus on each of the subjects,” said Han.

According to the United States Academic Decathlon website, the essay and arts portion will be held on April 4. The tests that will be issued on April 26 are to be determined.

The competition will be held in the computer lab on campus.

On March 21, the acadeca team participated in an online test run to make sure they could compete in the Online competition.

According to co-captain Laura Gustafson, the online-tests will be like the state competition, but the competitors will be from all over the country.

“The tests are going to be pretty similar, but we expect them to be more difficult. We’ve also heard Texas is a tough opponent,” said Gustafson.

“I’m hoping that we will make Campo and California proud, because California has a long-standing tradition of placing in the top three,” said Verbansky.