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Academic Decathlon Takes Fifth at Nationals
Academic Decathlon Takes Fifth at Nationals
AcaDec 2016

After winning the New Mexico State Championship in March, the Saint Pius X Academic Decathlon Team competed at the National Finals held in Anchorage, Alaska, from April 26 to April 30 and earned a fifth place national finish.  The competition prepares students in 10 subject areas including art, music, literature, history, economics, math, science, essay writing, speech, and personal interview.  Teams may be composed of up to nine total students, two each from high, medium, and lower GPA categories.  This year’s topic of focus was the country of India.  Art and Music featured pieces from throughout Indian history;  the Literature category consisted of the novel Nectar in a Sieve and several short works by modern Indian writers;  the History section covered major aspects of Indian history with concentration on the most recent one hundred years;  the Science category focused on ecology;  the Mathematics test featured probability, counting, and extensive coverage of sequences and series.  

The Saint Pius X Team was composed of veteran seniors  Matthew Torres,  Marek ListyHaydn JonesAmy Moore,  and  Jordan Wylie,  along with rookie senior  Alex Sais;  and veteran juniors  Marena TrujilloSam Apodaca,  and  Joseph Baca.  In addition, for the first time three SPX students were invited to compete as individuals at the National Finals.  Senior  Natasha Dark  and junior  Andy Sinclair  competed in the Honors Division, and junior  Aaron Plant  competed in the Varsity Division.  Around 600 total students from 35 U.S. States, Great Britain, China, and Canada competed.  

A list of the higher individual achievements follows.  There were approximately 200 competitors in each student division.

HONORS  DIVISION

Marena Tujillo -NATIONAL  GOLD  MEDAL  IN  SCIENCE

-6th Place in Interview

-8th Place in Art

Marek Listy -6th Place in Mathematics

-8th Place in Science

-9th Place in Art

 

Joey Baca -6th Place in Mathematics

-7th Place in Interview

-9th Place in Science

Natasha Dark -5th Place in Music

-5th Place in Interview

-6th Place in Science

-6th Place in Art

 

Andy Sinclair -6th Place in History

-6th Place in Music

-6th Place in Mathematics

-8th Place in Speech

SCHOLASTIC  DIVISION

Matthew Torres -Scholarship Winner for Overall Score

-NATIONAL  SILVER  MEDAL  IN  INTERVIEW

-4th Place in Art

-5th Place in Science

-5th Place in Essay

-7th Place in Mathematics

-8th Place in Speech

 

Sam Apodaca -Scholarship Winner for Team MVP

-4th Place in Art

-5th Place in Science

 

Alex Sais -NATIONAL  GOLD  MEDAL  IN  INTERVIEW

-7th Place in Speech

-8th Place in Music

 

VARSITY  DIVISION

Haydn Jones -NATIONAL  GOLD  MEDAL  IN  SCIENCE

-NATIONAL  BRONZE  MEDAL  IN  MATHEMATICS

-NATIONAL  BRONZE  MEDAL  IN  INTERVIEW

-5th Place in Economics

-5th Place in Art

 

Amy Moore -5th Place in Literature

-7th Place in Economics

-7th Place in Science

-7th Place in Music

-7th Place in Mathematics

-8th Place in Speech

 

Jordan Wylie -4th Place in Literature  (one question short of the Bronze Medal)

-4th Place in Art  (one question short of the Bronze Medal)

-6th Place in History

-7th Place in Music

-8th Place in Economics

 

Aaron Plant -6th Place in Interview

-9th Place in Speech

The Saint Pius X Academic Teams have won fifteen State Championships over the last eighteen years of competition, and has often achieved a national rank of around 4th or 5th among schools in Division III (high schools with approximately 1100 students or less) or Division II (schools with approximately 1100-1800 students).  Last year the Saint Pius X Team placed 4th in Division III at the National Finals in Anaheim, California.  This year a few of the smallest schools in other states did not attend the National Finals, pushing other, larger academic magnet schools down into Division III, making it more difficult to place highly.  Saint Pius X was ranked 7th in the country among the small schools in mid-April but passed two other teams to move up to a final ranking of 5th in the nation.

Haydn Jones earned a national medal in Mathematics for the third consecutive year, and a national medal in Interview for the second consecutive year!  In addition, he took the Gold Medal in Science in the Varsity Division!

Matthew Torres, also attending the National Finals for the third time, earned the Silver Medal in Interview as well as a scholarship for achieving the highest score among all students from New Mexico!

Senior Alex Sais joined Academic Decathlon for his first time, earned a starting spot on the team, and won the National Gold Medal in Interview!

Marena Trujillo, attending her second National Finals, achieved the highest score in Science among all Honors students in Division III to win the Gold Medal!

Congratulations to every team member on a great year!

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