Despite the economic troubles that have stripped academic decathlon coaches in the Los Angeles Unified School District of the small stipend they received for working with their school’s teams, a record 13 squads from the district are heading to the state championships March 16-18 in Sacramento.

Hamilton High School, which finished in eighth place overall with 40,760.9 points, claimed one of the top 10 regular spots, and Los Angeles High School was named one of the wild card teams.

The two schools were able to finish in the top, thanks in part to their overall performances on the decathlon–they finished in the top 10 in five of the nine categories.

Overall, out of the 63 schools that competed, King/Drew was 16th, Dorsey 17th, Fremont 24th, and Harbor Teacher Prep Academy 28th.

Other highlights for local youth in the competition based on 10 events include: King-Drew Medical Magnet finishing in 10th place in the overall speech competition; Salome Ok finishing in first place in Conference 1 in the Honors Division (GPA of 3.75 and above); Daryon Hancox taking second place in the Varsity Division (GPA 2.99 and below) in Conference 2; in Conference 7 Honors Division, Yasmine Cienfuegos finished second place and in Varsity Division, King-Drew students Malcolm Simpson and Jonathan Salazar placed first and third, respectively.