FALLBROOK – The Fallbrook Union High School academic decathlon team took first place in the all-volunteer category of the San Diego County Academic Decathlon Competition held at Olympian High School Saturday, Feb. 2. The team also tied a school record with 13 total medals.
The all-senior team was led by Rebecca Allen and Kathy Young. Allen had the most total points in the 10-category competition, finishing with 5809.3. Young had the most medals, four in all, including Gold Essay (Honors), Silver Essay (all levels), Silver Math (Honors), and Silver Math (all levels). Teams are split into three levels with three decathletes competing at each level: Honors (3.5 GPA or higher), Scholastic (3.00 – 3.49 GPA), and Varsity (2.0 – 2.99 GPA).
In addition to Young, the big winners were Allen, Silver Language (Honors) and Bronze Art (Honors); Jack Alperstein, Gold Essay (Honors) and Silver Essay (all levels); Ashley Chaney, Gold Math (Scholastic) and Bronze Language (Scholastic); and Jillian Drake, Silver Essay (Varsity), Silver Math (Varsity), and Bronze Essay (all levels).
Anna Marie Lopez, Brian Person, Emmett Sherman, and Katherine Smissen also competed, adding valuable points to the overall team score that were integral to the team’s first place finish.
Teachers Debbie Berg, Dave Evans, and Tracy Markham are the team coaches. Teacher Emily Hammer assisted in the art category. This year’s theme was History of Russia, including Czarist Russia, Communist Soviet Union, and post-Communist Russia.
“It is amazing that any of the all-volunteer schools win any medals at all,” said Markham. “It is a great challenge to go up against three high schools that have the advantage of having academic decathlon in their curriculum,” added Berg. “This is why we are so very proud of our volunteer student competitors. They knew going in that the odds were stacked against them. They rolled up their sleeves anyway and defied those odds,” said Evans