AcDec Miscalculation

The Academic Decathlon team competed in the 2019 California Academic Decathlon Competition in Sacramento only to find out that only one Varsity member was eligible to compete at the Regionals Competition.

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AcDec Miscalculation

Kaitlyn Wong, Reporter

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Over the last days of spring break, the Academic Decathlon team competed in the 2019 California Academic Decathlon Competition in Sacramento. With the intent of taking the top members of each of GPA group — Varsity, Scholastic, Honors — to the event, the reigning Division Two champions prepared for the state competition.

However, due to a miscalculation of GPA, Academic Decathlon coach Mitchell McSweeney was only able to bring one person to compete in the Varsity category. To calculate GPA and categorize individuals into GPA groups, the previous two years of a member’s transcript need to be calculated; however, it was not known that transcripts from junior high had to be used for sophomores on the team. With the correction in GPA, a Varsity member was discovered to have a higher GPA and wasn’t eligible to compete in the Varsity category.

While the team was able to bring its two Varsity members to the Regionals Competition in January, the officials caught the calculation mistake right before the state competition. With only one Varsity competitor compared to the other schools who had three Varsity competitors, the composite score of the team was negatively affected; the team automatically lost a potential 10,000 points without the other member of the Varsity group that could have benefitted the team’s overall score.

With only seven competitors, the team faced difficulties in challenging other highly competitive schools with full teams of nine members. In spite of this, the team still worked hard, and four members of the team won individual medals.

Senior Zain Khan medaled bronze in Math; senior Molly Zhou won a bronze medal in Speech; senior Samveda Rukmangadhan merited a silver medal in Science and a gold medal in Art; and senior Shreyas Kompalli earned a silver medal in Science and a gold medal as the team’s highest scorer, with 7,908 points out of a possible 10,000 points.

Despite their Varsity disadvantage, the Academic Decathlon team still worked hard to keep their streak of competing at States for 35 years, upholding the legacy of recently retired Academic Decathlon coach Rick Pillsbury and paving a new start of success for McSweeney.

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