Elsinore High unseats academic champions

STAFF REPORT

For 19 years, Hemet high schools have dominated the Riverside County Academic Decathlon.

Not this year.

Elsinore High School in Wildomar took first place, West Valley High School in Hemet was second and Hemet High School finished third in the competition that spanned two weekends at Beaumont High School.

West Valley, last year’s champ, took first place in the only public portion of the event: the College Bowl-style Super Quiz finale.

In that event, Elsinore High placed second and Hemet High came in third.

In San Bernardino County, unofficial results show Rancho Cucamonga and Chaffey high schools tied in the Super Quiz portion, which took place Saturday at Redlands East Valley High School.

The county will announce the official Super Quiz results – as well the overall winners – Thursday at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino.

A second team from Chaffey took third in the Super Quiz.

Tying defending champion Chaffey put Rancho Cucamonga’s team in a celebratory mood.

“For years, we’ve been following Chaffey and Redlands (High). To finally get here is really special,” said John Nath, Rancho Cucamonga’s coach.

“The kids worked really hard, and this group especially wanted to show what we can do,” he said.

The winning teams will represent the Inland area at the state level March 23-26 in Sacramento.

Some high-scoring runners-up also will be invited.

Winners there will compete at the United States Academic Decathlon on April 20-22 in Madison, Wis.

The Riverside County event, its 34th, featured 22 teams representing 18 high schools.

San Bernardino County’s 34th annual event featured 45 teams from 25 high schools.

Both competitions, with a World War II theme, opened Jan. 28.

The academic decathlon consists of written tests, speeches, interviews, essays and the Super Quiz.

Teams consist of nine students who are divided into honors, scholastic and varsity squads based on grade-point average.

Staff writers Stephen Wall and Kristina Hernandez contributed to this report.

From left, Hemet West Valley team members Erin Valenzuela, Douglas Swayne and Christina Muoio celebrate.

TERRY PIERSON, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Santiago team members, from left, Corrie O'Brien, Deanna Heath and Tae-Hee Kim react after a wrong answer.

TERRY PIERSON, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The team from Elsinore High School in Wildomar shows off ribbons, a trophy and a ceremonial check after winning the Riverside County Academic Decathlon at Beaumont High School on Saturday.

RODRIGO PENA, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Elsinore’s Stevie Sandy, left, and Nicole Mayhew enjoy the Super Quiz portion of the Academic Decathlon.

TERRY PIERSON, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Students cheer for teams during the Super Quiz portion of Riverside County’s 34th annual Academic Decathlon.

TERRY PIERSON, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

 


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