Lemoore Middle College High School dominated the Kings County Academic Decathlon winning the title for the fourth-straight time.
“They poured their heart and soul into this,” said the winning team’s coach Allen Tong. “I can’t be any more pleased.”
The school was awarded the winning title after receiving 49,392.7 points over the weekend at the Kings County 34th annual Academic Decathlon. Second place went to Lemoore High School with 34,680.9 points and third place went to Corcoran High School with 32,036.1 points.
This year students were tested on India. The Super Quiz — an oral competition — was held at Lemoore High School.
Tong said his students studied since June 2015 when they received the material. He said his students helped each other study which benefited them during the Super Quiz.
“It’s not just individuals getting a score,” Tong said. “They collect work together to get a team score.”
Contestants go through a variety of academic tests, perform prepared and impromptu speeches, write essays and participate in interview competitions in Academic Decathlon.
Each team is compiled of varsity, scholastic and honor students which are all based on the students’ grade-point average. Honor students have the highest GPA followed by scholastic and varsity students.
Lemoore Middle College High School senior Alexandra Osterland received a $1,000 scholarship and was announced as the Top Decathlete. Osterland received an additional scholarship of $500 as the Top Honor Student and a $250 scholarship as the top student at her school. She also received seven $125 scholarships for excelling in various academic exams and an interview.
“It’s really amazing,” Osterland said. “A university is going to be expensive so anything helps and it’s awesome.”
This is her second year in Academic Decathlon and she said it has been the best experience. She said academics have always come natural to her which was an advantage while attending a small school.
“It’s definitely boosted my confidence and all of my close friends are in Academic Decathlon,” Osterland said. “It’s been a wonderful experience.”
Last year, Osterland’s twin brother, Zachary, received the Top Decathlete title and was awarded a $1,000 scholarship along with many other awards.
Their parents, Karen and Darren Osterland, said they are extremely proud of their success in Academic Decathlon.
“They are very dedicated to studying, so we pick up a lot of chores during Academic Decathlon season,” Karen Osterland said.
She said they gave up social activities to study after school and on weekends. She added that the coaches were also committed and studied alongside the students after school and on weekends.
Tong said the score the school received this year was very high and some of the top schools in the state typically receive scores similar to their own. He said his team has a lot of work to do when they go to Sacramento to compete at the state level in March.
“We will take a little break for about three or four days, and then we will start addressing what we can do better,” Tong said. “There is always room to get better.”
Tong said he tries to give his students life advice along with preparing them for competitions.
“I want them to realize that they are part of a team, and they should be encouraging each other to be better,” Tong said.