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ACADEC heads to state

Imani Bingham, Staff Writer

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After piling up 31 medals in the regional round, the Acadec team is headed back to state. The team will enjoy a sendoff on Thursday before heading to El Paso where it will compete over the weekend. Members will test in speech, interview, essay, written comprehensive exams, and super quiz.

The team heads into the event, ranked fifth after setting a school record with 45,030 points. This marks their seventh straight trip to state.

Currently these students are ranked fifth in the state in where they’ve all received gold medals in the Super Quiz Relay and various individual medal.

“We knew our region was going to be the best region in the state, but certainly didn’t expect to finish fourth in our own region and end up fifth in the entire state,” sponsor Melanie Atkinson said. “ Eight teams from our region made state from the 15 or so 5A schools that competed—that’s 8 of the top 30 teams.  So, our region was definitely the toughest in the state.”

Atkinson said they are hoping to do even better this weekend.

“We’re really hoping to finish top three,” she said.  The highest we’ve ever finished in 10th so we’re definitely going to finish higher than that, but with a top three finish our students can win scholarship money.”

 Caleb Venerable hopes to be in the running for that. He led the team in medals at regionals, winning four gold medals, four silver and one bronze. Yet Venerable sees room for improvement to practice math, economics, and music as well.

“I was disappointed when I realized that I missed first by only two questions.” “But, I was super proud of my team in general,” he said.

 Though confident, team members know state will be tough. Daniel Erickson who took two gold, two silver and two bronze medals at the regional event, said knowing what to expect can be the hardest part of preparing.

“The category that is toughest to prepare for is the essay,” said Erickson, a National Merit finalist. ”Mostly because you’re not sure what they want for the essay.”

Maintaining that confidence is key, said Vivian Nguyen..

“I think confidence plays a role in preparing for the competition,” Nguyen said. “When you’re more confident in your answers you’ll feel better about your results.”

And Atkinson believes they will all enjoy the results.

“Highland Park looks to have first place sewn up, but how great would it be to finish second in the entire state?  Or even third?  That is our goal,” she said.

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Moving On