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Local teams hold their own in state Academic Decathlon

Cynthia E. Griffin | 3/30/2017, midnight

The academic decathlon is done for the 2016-17 school year, and a number of the perrennially successful teams from Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are headed to Madison, Wis., to compete for the national championship, April 17-23.

Granada Hills Charter High Shool finished at the top of the leader board in the regional finals held in Sacramento last weekend. It is one of three LAUSD schools that will compete for a chance to win the national championship.

The San Fernando-area school edged out several consistent top finishers—Marshall, Franklin and and El Camino Real.

Coming in second in the state competition, El Camino Real Charter High School will advance to the national online competition in the large-school category, also held in April.

In addition, Manual Arts High was recognized by the U.S. Academic Decathlon with the Dr. Richard Cooper Award for most improved this year.

Local schools that finished well but did not make the cut for the championship include Harbor Teacher Prep, which placed 11th, followed by Hamilton in 12th place and Westchester in 14th place.

Harbor competed in Division III in the state and Iris Juanico, a senior competing in the honors category won five medals.

LAUSD has so many schools that the district was able to hold its own competition and sent four teams to the state finals.

Schools in the county competed against one another, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education sent four teams to the state championships as well. South Pasadena High School was fifth; Edgewood in West Covina took sixth place; Mark Keppell in Alhambra was eighth and West in Torrance came in 10th.

Additionally, when the schools go to the national championships, Edgewood will compete in the online division for medium-sized schools.

In the Southern California private schools division, Bishop Alemany High School and Mater Dei High School move on to the national match.

The United States Academic Decathlon is a 10-event scholastic competition for teams of high school students.

Each high school enters a team of nine students: 3 “A” or Honor students (3.750 - 4.00 GPA), 3 “B” or Scholastic students (3.00 - 3.749 GPA), and 3 “C or below” Varsity students (0.00 - 2.999 GPA).

The theme for the 2016–2017 Academic Decathlon® is World War II. The topic for next year is Africa.