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Students Earn Medals at 18th Annual Academic Decathlon

Sacramento’s Brainiest High Schools Announced


As the winter Olympics commenced last weekend in Nagano, Japan, youth from 18 area high schools competed right here in Sacramento at the 18th annual Academic Decathlon. The 10-event competition, held despite heavy rain and wind Saturday, February 7, on the Calif. State University, Sacramento, campus, tested students' knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic and much, much more.

Individual and team scores were announced Wednesday evening at the Academic Decathlon Awards Banquet, held by the Sacramento County Office of Education at the Doubletree Hotel.

Team Rankings

  • 1st Place: BELLA VISTA HIGH SCHOOL, coached by Mike Erickson.
    This marks the ninth time Bella Vista has won in the past 10 years. The team will compete at the state level in March, 1998.
  • 2nd Place: RIO AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL, coached by Richard Thorn
  • 3rd Place: MIRA LOMA HIGH SCHOOL, coached by David Mathews
  • 4th Place: J.F. KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL, coached by Jennifer Reynaga
  • 5th Place: CASA ROBLE HIGH SCHOOL, coached by Jackie Bartz

Students with Overall Best Individual Scores

Gold Medals:

  • JOE DALE (Kennedy)—Honors category
  • ADAM WISNER (Bella Vista)—Scholastic category
  • IAN MYSLIVEC (Mira Loma)—Varsity category

Silver Medals:

  • BENJAMIN GUMPERT (Rio Americano)—Honors
  • WALEED HAWATKY (Kennedy)—Scholastic
  • JENNIFER HERNANDEZ (Rio Americano)—Varsity

Bronze Medals:

  • DARREN LEE (Kennedy)—Honors
  • AYA SHIRAI (Kennedy)—Scholastic
  • ALLAN WHITE (Bella Vista)—Varsity

Super Quiz Winners

  • 1st Place BELLA VISTA
  • 2nd Place RIO AMERICANO
  • 3rd Place MIRA LOMA

A "Most Improved Performance" award was given to the Elk Grove High School team, which took ninth place. In the previous Sacramento County Academic Decathlon, held in November, 1996, Elk Grove High School ranked last among the 20 competing schools.

Each school's nine-person team, comprised of three Honors ("A" average) students, three Scholastic ("B" average) students, and three Varsity ("C" average) students, competed last Saturday in the 18th annual event sponsored by the Sacramento County Office of Education at CSUS. Modeling their efforts after the Olympic Decathlon, students vied for top individual and team scores in 10 different events: Economics, Fine Arts, Science, Social Science, Language, Literature, Mathematics, Essay, Interview, and Speech.

The Academic Decathlon, an all-day event, represented months of study and preparation by 180 students and their teacher-coaches. A power outage late in the afternoon caused the Super Quiz portion to be rescheduled for Tuesday evening at Rio Americano High School. Because not all of the 18 teams were able to participate Tuesday night, Super Quiz scores were not taken into consideration when tabulating the overall team scores.

Schools participating in the 1998 Sacramento County Academic Decathlon were: Center High School (Center District); Elk Grove, Florin, Laguna Creek and Valley High Schools (Elk Grove District); Cordova and Folsom High Schools (Folsom Cordova District); Grant and Rio Linda High Schools (Grant District); Rio Vista High School (River Delta District); J.F. Kennedy and Sacramento High Schools (Sacramento City District); and Bella Vista, Casa Roble, Del Campo, Encina, Mira Loma and Rio Americano High Schools (San Juan District).