Academic Decathlon moves on to national competition


Provided by September Wethington-Smith

Academic Decathlon members pose for a photo holding their second place plaque from the state competition. Out of the eight team members, seven were all awarded medals and all team members placed within the top 13 in their divisions.

Bryce Schulte, Staff Writer

Academic Decathlon competed at the state competition in Mount Vernon, IA March 6-7. There, the team placed second overall in the state and all members of the team placed individually within the top 13 state-wide. “We rocked the joint,” Academic Decathlon advisor Sue Cline said.

In addition to their placing, seven of the eight team members were awarded medals in their events. In the honors division, freshman Aditi Jithendra placed third in math, second in social sciences with third place overall, senior Jack Dolde placed second in science, second in language and literature with fifth place overall, and sophomore Afshan Chandani placed first in essay with ninth place overall.

In the scholastic division, senior Ethan Niu placed second in essay, first in math, third in music and first in science with eighth place overall, sophomore Alexis Pottebaum placed second in individual speech with 13th place overall, and senior Elea Kaptain placed 11th overall.

In the varsity division, sophomore Bobby Bailey placed third in art, second in music and third in science with fifth place overall, and senior Connor Smith placed second in social sciences with sixth place overall.

The two alternates, senior Autumn Askew and senior Emily Van Wiel also placed. Askew, an alternate for the honors division, placed third in art and second in science. Van Wiel, an alternate for the scholastic division, placed first in art, second in economics, third in social sciences and second in music.

The team’s score at state was their highest score ever in school history. “This year’s team was incredible,” Smith said. “It was amazing to be a part of it.”

Since the team won second place at state, they were able to continue on to nationals. Unlike first place winner Cedar Rapids that traveled to the national competition in Garden Grove, California, the team is staying here and taking their tests online. The first set of the 30 minute long tests as well as the 50 minute long essay took place Mar 31 and the last set of tests are scheduled for Apr 17.