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Casa Grande's Ac-Dec team does it again

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 9:35 a.m.

Casa Grande students have claimed victory at the county's Academic Decathlon competition for the 29th year in a row and the North Bay Region Academic Decathlon for the third consecutive time.

The Academic Decathlon is a statewide competition testing students on their academic prowess in a range of subjects. Teams are made up of a mix of A, B and C or below students.

About 500 high schools and 13,000 students face off around the state.

The recent win advances Casa Grande to the California Academic Decathlon competition, where it will represent Sonoma County.

To win, Casa Grande academic decathletes took multiple choice tests in various subjects over the course of two weekends.

In addition, each team member delivered a prepared speech and an impromptu speech, prepared for an oral interview, and wrote an essay on the year's theme.

This year, the theme was Russia from 800 B.C.to the present.

The Super Quiz Relay, the competition's final event, was open to the public and featured numerous questions from subject matters that included Art, Economics, Music, Language and Literature, Science, and Social Sciences.

All three of Casa Grande High School teams received trophies in the Super Quiz competition. Team 1 received first place, Team 2 received 2nd place and Team 3 received 4th place honors. Fifteen teams fielded from 4 counties participated in this weekend's event. Individual medals totaled 81, and including the team medals, Casa Grande decathletes received 117 medals.

Led by Rick Pillsbury and Andrew Aja, members of Team 1 included team co-captains Erica Yee and Jun Young Park, Max Granger, Akhil Nadendla, Daniel Carballal, Eric Singer, Laura Dion, Nathan Fritsch and Grace Sheehan.

Team 2 members included Shin Mei Chan, Carol Tang, Hannah Lee, Ava Dixon, Erin Nicholson, David Fisher, Mariam Jacob, and Kelsey Matzen.

Team 3 consisted of Tina Lee, Matthew Juandy, Alex Figueiredo, Jhordy Gongora, Chris Martinek, Juve Arango, Arbaaz Sohi and Joey Cauich.

Alternates to the teams included Cassidy Visco, Coleman McClelland, Anastasia Nathanson, Ken Shibata, Nathan Schultz, and Keeley Chism. Pillsbury has coached Casa Grande's Academic Decathlon teams for almost 30 years.

The nine member Team 1 will be advancing to the State competition in Sacramento, which begins on March 14.

The team is seeking support from the community to offset expenses as it prepares for the state competition.

Anyone wanting to help the team should contact Deborah Yee at dandlyee@winecountrysmiles.com.

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