It wasn’t even close. University High powers to fourth straight Academic Decathlon title
There’s no doubt about it. University High School has the brain power to dominate the Fresno County Academic Decathlon.
Saturday’s results of the 41st edition of the academic competition proved that.
▪ Overall winner for the fourth time, and No. 10 in 13 years, with 43,438.4 points. The next closest competitor was Hallmark Academy of Sanger with 35,893.7 points.
▪ Four straight years of having the top student after Mia Uller totaled 9,027 points to finish ahead of freshman teammate Madeline Hu who had 8,446.7 points.
▪ Not even the Super Quiz portion was overlooked as University scored 4,760 points to easily outpace runner-up Sanger High (3,710 points).
Here’s some bad news for the competition: University coach Sean Canfield had points scored from each grade level in the Academic Decathlon. That is a first for the charter school housed on the Fresno State campus.
“It was a combination of youth and experience, something I hadn’t seen before,” said Canfield.
Not only that, but Uller stepped in to help prepare her teammates for the Academic Decathlon when Canfield ended up in the hospital for emergency surgery.
Edison hasn’t been in the arena recently, but Canfield looks at Hallmark Charter as a competitor to keep an eye on with the return of Angela Ballew as coach.
“She’s dynamite and she nearly defeated us a couple of times,” said Canfield..
The last team to beat University was Edison High, which has won a record 19 times but has failed to field a team the last two years.
Saturday’s competition began with tests in math, economics, arts and music at Sunnyside High School, followed by the Super Quiz at 3 p.m. The latter was the only event open to the public.
Fresno State hosted speech and interview sessions on Jan. 28.
University High – which has won the Academic Decathlon small school titles at the state and national levels – will head to the state competition March 24-26 in Santa Clara.
Twenty-four schools competed with a dozen students who have GPAs ranging from 1.00 to 4.00. They were tested in art, music, language and literature, mathematics, economics, speech, interview, essay, science, and social science.
The theme for this year’s competition was ‘The American Revolution.’
Finishing behind University High in the large school category was Clovis North with 34,847.2 points. Sanger was third with 33,306.6 points.
Kerman High captured the middle school division with 27,972 points, followed by Firebaugh High (27,012.3 points) and Clovis West (26,651.7 points).
Hallmark Charter topped the small school division. Kingsburg High (25,122.1 points) was second, followed by Fowler (24,425.9 points).
Sanger High won the most improved school for the second consecutive year with an improvement of 3.14%.
In the student competition for top score, Nadia Almasri of Clovis North was third with 8,262.1 points.