Academic Decathlon team takes second at regionals

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STAFF WRITER Jonathan Bender

The Academic Decathlon Team qualified for the state competition on Feb. 5 after finishing second in the regional event at Souderton High School. The team will compete again at the state level on March 12 and 13.

The decathlon focuses on 10 major topics or events under one theme. This year’s theme was water. Seven categories–art, literature, music, science, social science, math and economics–are presented in a multiple choice test format. The remaining–speech, interview and essay–are not inherently subject to the theme. 

Top three competitors receive either a bronze, silver or gold medal in their divisions.

GPA determines students’ divisions. Students who hold a 3.7 GPA or higher qualify for the Honors division. Students between a 3.4 and 3.7 qualify for the Scholastic division. Competitors below 3.4 qualify for the Varisty division.

Senior Angela Lian won 5th place in Honors, medaling in social science, math, economics, essay and interview. Senior Maddie Shaffer took third, medaling in art, literature and science.

Senior Emma McGrath won fourth in the Scholastic division while her teammate senior James Laird took sixth.  

Senior Seth Huff and Sophomore Stephen McGrath swept the varsity division.

An alternate division, made up of players who do not qualify for the three regional teams, features competitors who still take the tests and can earn medals, but their scores do not qualify. 

Alternates can replace members of any other division assuming they both score higher than someone in one of the other three divisions and they meet the GPA requirement to be in a respective division.

Mr. Bruce Outland, the club’s sponsor at Methacton, praised the efforts of the alternates. 

“Several MHS underclassmen gave these seniors a run for their money,” he said. Junior Krishna Tirumalareddy scored five medals and Junior Haley Chung received three medals as alternates.

Scores for each category are between 0, the lowest possible score, and 1000, the highest possible score. 

Seniors Maddie Shaffer, Angela Lian, and Irene Biju will represent the school on the State’s Honors team. Seniors Emma McGrath, Devesh Posa and James Laird will compete for the Scholastic team. Lastly, senior Seth Huff and sophomore Stephen McGrath will represent the Varsity team.
At the moment, there is a vacant spot in the Varsity team. If a student wishes to join the team or fill this spot, they can contact [email protected] to see their availability to join.