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El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills wins National Academic Decathlon

April 24, 2010 | 12:05 pm
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El Camino Real High School of Woodland Hills won the National Academic Decathlon for the sixth time Saturday, setting a new record for the school with the most wins.

The California team was considered a favorite to win coming into the competition, which tests student’s strengths in an array of academic subjects, but it faced challenges from strong teams from Arizona, Illinois and Wisconsin.

After two days of rigorous testing, El Camino Real came out on top. The nine-member team earned 49,951.7 points out of a possible 60,000.

When their victory was announced at the awards banquet in Omaha, where the competition was held, the team's students and coaches embraced in one big hug. Cheeks dampened with happy tears, they ran to the stage to collect their trophies. 

El Camino Real won the national championship in 2007, 2005, 2004, 2001 and 1998, but this was the first title for the current team's  students and coaches, math teacher John Dalsass and English teacher Stephanie Franklin.

“This is just spooky weird,” Franklin said, laughing. 

El Camino Real earned the state title at the California Academic Decathlon in March with a score of 50,590 out of 60,000.  In Omaha this week, they competed against more than 300 high school kids from across the country.

Members of the winning team include Vivian Cheng, Daniel de Haas, Evan Edmisten, Andrew Fann, Audrey Goldbaum, Jessica Lin, Daniel Moreh, Adriana Ureche, and Michael Walker.

The win marked California's eighth consecutive national title.

-- Kate Linthicum

Photo: El Camino Real High School Academic Decathlon team members celebrate moments after it was announced that they had won the state championship held in Sacramento last month. Credit: Robert Durell / For The Times

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