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OC decathletes take home over 70 honors at statewide academic competition – OCDE Newsroom


Orange County decathlon teams earn trophies and medals at the 2024 California Academic Decathlon on March 24.
Orange County decathlon teams celebrate their success at the 2024 California Academic Decathlon on March 24.

Local high school students prospered at the 45th annual California Academic Decathlon, earning recognition for their soaring scores across a wide range of subjects, from art and music to science and mathematics.

The 10-event tournament, hosted from March 22 to March 24, saw some of California’s top scholars test their knowledge through multiple-choice exams, essays, interviews and speeches.

Overall, Orange County’s final four academic decathlon teams in the competition brought home 61 individual awards and 10 team medals. The California Academic Decathlon has posted a complete list of the 2024 winners.

“I am incredibly proud of our Orange County teams again this year,” said OCDE Coordinator Kristin Rigby. “It was so exciting to see all four of our teams bring home an award as a top overall team or Super Quiz team in their division.”

Valencia High School decathletes win first place in Division 2 at the California Academic Decathlon.
Valencia High School decathletes win first place in Division 2 at the California Academic Decathlon.

With the theme “Technology and Humanity,” students competed individually and alongside their teammates with assessments in art, literature, social science, economics and more. 

Woodbridge High School’s reigning countywide decathlon champions scored an overall 43,068 points, bringing the Irvine Unified School District team in at fourth place in Division 1. Coming in at first, second and third place in the same division were El Camino Real Charter High School, Granada Hills Charter High School and Alhambra High School, respectively. Rounding out Division 1 was Santa Ana’s Mater Dei High School, which placed 13th in Division 1. 

First place in Division 2 was awarded to Valencia High School in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District with a score of 40,748 points. At 40,570 points total, Irvine’s University High School scored second place in the same division. Seventh place in Division 3 went to Westminster High School, with 35,667 points. 

University High School students earn second place in Division 2 at the California Academic Decathlon on March 24.
University High School students earn second place in Division 2 at the California Academic Decathlon on March 24.

In the statewide high-energy Super Quiz event, decathletes from Valencia clinched first place while University tied for second in Division 2. Westminster also had a strong showing during the Super Quiz, landing them third place in Division 3. 

The Academic Decathlon was founded and created in 1968 by former Orange County Superintendent Dr. Robert Peterson, who envisioned a “decathlon of studies” as a prisoner during World War II. Ever since, high school teams made up of nine students have competed at the county, state and national levels in scholastic competitions based on an annual theme. 

Each team must be made up of three “Honor” students (those with GPAs of 3.80 and above), along with three “Scholastic” students (GPAs of 3.20 to 3.79) and three “Varsity” students (GPAs of 3.199 and below).

El Camino Real Charter High School will advance to the championships and defend California’s 20-year winning streak at the U.S. Academic Decathlon Nationals from April 25 to April 27 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



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