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Moorpark High School wins National Academic Decathlon for fourth time

April 25, 2009 |  2:57 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Amid cheers and leaps of excitement, Moorpark High School had won the National Academic Decathlon, the fourth time the team has won the highest prize.

“There is joy, there is happiness and there is the academic decathalon,” said 17-year-old Zyed Ismailjee, who started sobbing when the results were announced during an awards luncheon in Memphis, Tenn., this afternoon.

Team mates hoisted each other into the air, and the coach lept on to his chair in celebration.
Team members also won 30 medals in individual events, as well as several college scholarships.

Moorpark High School has long been among the strongest teams in state and national competitions. The school won a narrow national victory last year over Waukesha West High School of Wisconsin. Today's win marks the fourth national title for Moorpark.

This year’s competition came down to the two schools once again.

“It was just nip and tuck back and forth,” said coach Larry Jones, a history teacher. “… I told them,  ‘This is what the competition is about: competing with class acts.”

Moorpark placed second in the "Jeopardy"-style Super Quiz on Friday, putting them in strong contention for the top spot. 

“It was a long road,” said team captain Neil Paik, 17. “It was worth it.”

-- Seema Mehta