Academic Decathlon team participates in Los Angeles County match

The Academic Decathlon (ACADEC) team with their competition trophies. COURTESY OF CHRISTINA TRAN.
The Academic Decathlon (ACADEC) team with their competition trophies. COURTESY OF CHRISTINA TRAN.

Keppel’s Academic Decathlon (ACADEC) team competed in the Los Angeles County match on Saturday, January 30. ACADEC received fourth place overall in their competition and will advance to the state finals in March.

The top scoring individual from Keppel was Justin Ho with a score 8529.2 out of 10000. Ho won eight individual medals and placed second in the Scholastic division. Patrick Chea placed second from Keppel and placed third in the Varsity division with a score of 8015.4 out of 10000, winning six individual medals.

Keppel’s team consisted of 10 out of the 35 total members of ACADEC, comprised of seniors Dachanon Chaiswat, Patrick Chea, Jimmy Chong, Justin Ho, juniors Christina Tran, Rachel Wang, Stephen Yuan, freshmen Grace Chang and Phillip Tran, and alternate member senior Kristy Wong.

The remaining members spent their time practicing for future competitions. All members of Academic Decathlon participated in one “scrimmage” or practice match to help prepare for the real competition. On the first day of the tournament, competitors from across the Los Angeles County performed speeches, participated in interviews, and wrote essays. The theme of the competition was the country of India, which means that questions and speeches were focused on the country’s distinct culture and other trivia.

On the days that led up to competitions, team members practiced during seventh period from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to ensure optimal preparedness during the week prior to competing. The most difficult aspect of ACADEC, along with the intensity of training, is finding the time to practice.

“ACADEC is for those looking for a challenge,” said ACADEC Secretary, junior Christina Tran. “Not everyone has time [to practice], especially those with AP classes.”

The first and second county competitions took place at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, CA. The second county competition, which took place on February 6, consisted of arena testing and the “Super Quiz.” Keppel scored 63 out of 72 in the Super Quiz category. The awards banquet for competitors took place on February 11 at the Quiet Cannon banquet hall in Montebello during school hours.

Correction 9:08 p.m. – Phillip Tran, freshman, was incorrectly listed as a junior. 

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