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PV Academic Decathlon team earns second place

by on February 08, 2018 10:46 AM

SPRING MILLS — Penns Valley High School hosted an Academic Decathlon Central District competition Feb. 2. The Academic Decathlon, like its athletic counterpart, tests students in 10 categories: science, music, mathematics, language and literature, art, speech, interview, economics, social science and history. The competition consists of seven 50-question multiple choice tests, two performance events and a written essay. 

The Academic Decathlon includes students in ninth through 12th grade in all achievement levels. Teams consist of a maximum of nine members, who are divided into three divisions based on grade point averages: Honors (3.75–4.00 GPA), Scholastic (3.00–3.74 GPA) and Varsity (0.00–2.99 GPA). Every team member competes in all 10 events against other students in their divisions, and team scores are calculated using the top two overall individual scores from each team in each division.

Teams compete against other teams from similarly sized schools. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded for individual events as well as for overall scores, and the top four finishers go on to a state competition in March.

Speech and interview portions of the competition are judged by adult community members and former decathlon participants. Students give prepared speeches and must also present impromptu speeches on a subject given to them by the judges. They have only one minute to prepare their speeches, which must lasts 90 seconds.

The nine-member Penns Valley team is coached by teachers Sarah Farrant and Cory Zatek. Senior Sam Kupp, who captains the team, repeated his 2017 win, taking the overall champion trophy, winning seven gold medals and one silver and racking up the third-highest score in school history.

In the Honors Division, sophomore Ben Hawkins won three bronze and two silver medals. Nate Gillespie won two medals, including a gold for his interview.

In the Scholastic Division, Dan Connolly took home second place overall and six medals, including a gold in art. Nic Kubalak won three medals, including a gold in economics, and Alex Boeckel won a medal for his speech.

Varsity Division member Joey Steffen was sixth in his division overall, taking home five medals, including a gold for his speech. Ben Leitzel won two medals, including a gold for his interview. Torri Musser helped the team secure a second-place finish in the super quiz relay event.

Alternates Sydney Kubalak, Max Feidler and Wyatt Auman all did well in their freshman district meet debuts.

In team competition, Carlisle came in first, Penns Valley placed second, Montoursville placed third and Philipsburg-Osceola took fourth.
Coaches Zatek and Farrant were very pleased with the Penns Valley team's performance and are looking forward to competing in the state meet in March at Clarion University.

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