Academic Decathlon team makes historic victory in State competition

Academic Decathlon team poses for a picture at the California State Competition. PHOTO COURTESY OF KEVEN SOM

Mark Keppel High School participated in the California Academic Decathlon state competition of first division in Sacramento from March 24th to March 26th. The Academic Decathlon team scored eighth place, which was the highest rank Keppel has ever gotten at state finals. Keppel’s team scored 47,826 points and received two math bronze medals. Senior captain, Christina Tran, scored the highest on Keppel’s team with almost 8,700 points.

Starting from April of last year, Keppel’s team has spent eleven months studying for this year’s competition. “We have practice around five hours a day every weekday and some weekend study sessions.” said Tran. They were a bit of nervous before their speech and interview portions, however they were well-prepared to compete confidently.

In comparison to last year, Keppel’s rank rose from twelfth place to eighth place in state competition. Keppel’s team did not have many difficulties during the competition. “The trust I had in in my team convinced me that it wouldn’t be hard at all,” said junior Keven Som.

Although the team was not able to score into the national competition, their scores were satisfactory. “We met both of our goals to make top 10 at state finals and finish top 3 for Super Quiz.” said Tran.

These significant awards and medals have contributed honors to Mark Keppel. “The medals make it easier to remember the amount of effort and fun I’ve had.” said Som.

There were 63 high schools involved in the state competition. Christina suggested to improve their interview skills and better structure of the answers. Despite the loss of getting into nationals, Tran thinks the team will be able to “stick” together in the future.


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