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SCV schools score in county academic decathlon

West Ranch, Saugus, Golden Valley, Vasquez

Posted: February 12, 2009 6:29 p.m.
Updated: February 12, 2009 3:29 p.m.

MONTEBELLO, Calif., Feb. 12, 2009 (PRNewswire-USNewswire) -- Marking its return as the team to beat, West High School of Torrance outsmarted all others to win the 27th Annual Los Angeles County Academic Decathlon (LACAD) team title and earn a berth in the state competition.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, Saugus High scored 14th; West Ranch High placed 15th, and Golden Valley High earned 19th place in the Top 30.

West Ranch also earned "Rookie School of the Year" honors, while Saugus and Vasquez were two of the three "Schools With Most Improved Scores" compared to last year.

West of Torrance, a perennial top contender that had faded to fourth last year, won this time with a score of 44,592 points (out of a possible 60,000) with Keppel High School of Alhambra, last year's winner, finishing a close second with 44,438 points.

By winning the LACAD, West automatically advances to the California Academic Decathlon March 13-16 in Sacramento. But because their scores were high enough to qualify as statewide "wild card" entrants, Keppel and six other teams have also won berths in the state contest.

Those six other teams, in order of finish, are: Torrance HS (43,952), Alhambra HS (41,708), El Rancho HS of Pico Rivera (41,605), South HS of Torrance (41,505), Redondo Union HS (41,305) and Beverly Hills HS (40,298). Previously, the most teams that qualified for state from LACAD was four.

The 2009 LACAD results were announced today by Los Angeles County Supt. of Schools Darline P. Robles in ceremonies at the Quiet Cannon Country Club. A total of 66 teams and more than 600 students participated in the LACAD, including 16 squads in the Junior Division. The competition, presented by the Los Angeles County Office of Education, took place Jan. 31 at El Rancho HS and Feb. 7 at USC.

The top-scoring individual decathlete was Anthony Wu of Keppel, a senior, who tallied 8,880 points (out of possible 10,000). He was followed by Daniel Naphas, a senior from Torrance, who scored 8,570 points, and Keita De Carlo, a senior from Palos Verdes Peninsula HS, who tallied 8,461 points.

Decathlon teams are comprised of students from all grade-point averages. Decathletes are challenged to use analytical skills, performance abilities, and test-taking and writing aptitude in 10 subjects: Art, Economics, Essay, Interview, Language & Literature, Math, Music, Social Science, Speech and Super Quiz (Science). The LACAD is open to public high schools outside of the Los Angeles Unified School District, which holds a separate academic decathlon competition and awards ceremony.

The academic decathlon, which this year focused on the subject of Latin America, is a local-county/state/national program designed to promote self-assurance, academic enrichment and teamwork among students from all academic backgrounds. The state winner earns a trip to the U.S. Academic Decathlon on April 22-25 in Memphis, TN. Last year's state champ, Moorpark HS of Ventura County, won the national competition.

Key Team and Individual Results

Top 30 Overall Team Scores (out of a possible 60,000 points):

1. West HS (Torrance) -- 44,592
2. Keppel HS (Alhambra) -- 44,438*
3. Torrance HS -- 43,952*
4. Alhambra HS -- 41,708*
5. El Rancho (Pico Rivera) -- 41,605*
6. South HS (Torrance) -- 41,505*
7. Redondo Union HS -- 41,305*
8. Beverly Hills HS -- 40,298*
9. Burbank HS -- 40,174
10. San Marino HS -- 39,416
11. Rosemead HS -- 38,997
12. Duarte HS -- 38,596
13. North HS (Torrance) -- 38,285
14. Saugus HS -- 37,484
15. West Ranch HS (Stevenson Ranch) -- 37,450

16. Arroyo HS -- 36,846
17. Rowland HS -- 36,642
18. Arcadia HS -- 36,515
19. Golden Valley (Santa Clarita) -- 35,603
20. PV Peninsula HS -- 35,288
21. El Segundo HS -- 35,261
22. Hawthorne Math & Sci Academy -- 34,044
23. Burroughs HS (Burbank) -- 32,894
24. Cal Academy Math & Sci (Carson) -- 32,411
25. La Canada HS -- 32,245
26. Los Altos HS (Hacienda Heights) -- 31,493
27. West Covina HS -- 30,343
28. El Monte HS -- 30,306
29. Nogales HS (La Puente) -- 30,209
30. Gladstone HS (Covina) -- 30,134

* Teams that have qualified as wild card entrants for the California
Academic Decathlon

Top 3 Overall Individual Scorers (out of a possible 10,000 points):
1. Anthony Wu, Keppel HS, 12th grade -- 8,880 points
2. Daniel Naphas, Torrance HS, 12th grade -- 8,570 points
3. Keita De Carlo, PV Peninsula HS, 12th grade -- 8,461 points

Schools With Most Improved Scores (compared to last year):
Vasquez HS (Acton) -- 15,387 point improvement
Azusa HS -- 9,690 point improvement
Saugus HS -- 7,619 point improvement

Rookie School of the Year:
West Ranch HS (Stevenson Ranch) -- 37,450 (15th Place Overall)

Roberta Kordich Coach Award (for commitment & dedication):
Coach Jeff Jones, Torrance HS



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