Waukesha West Wins State Academic Decathlon
Next stop, New Mexico for West team. Waukesha South team finishes strong.
Following a fiercely competitive two days of testing, Waukesha West High School’s academic decathlon team took top honors in the state, advancing to the national competition for the 11th year in a row.
At the awards banquet Friday night at the Glacier Canyon Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells, the team and its supporters of waited with bated breath to find out if they were successful in beating New Berlin Eisenhower, who took first place in the regional competition earlier this year.
Relief, excitement and pride swelled among the West students and parents once the results were known – West beat Eisenhower by less than 400 points, earning a total of 47,412 points in the competition.
West Academic Decathlon Coach Susan Otto said she was “ecstatic, relieved, proud” of the results.
“The kids worked hard,” she said. “They knew it was going to be very competitive, and they pushed each other to work harder.”
The unexpected second place ranking at regionals spurred the team on to their success at the state level, according to Otto.
“It just goes to show you can’t make presumptions that you’re going to get anything,” Otto said. “But they wanted it, and they were able to translate that into the hard work necessary to win.”
The West team took the Top Team Award in four of the 10 subjects: interview, art, language and literature, and mathematics. Team member Thomas Redding broke two state records in the honors category with perfect scores in economics and mathematics. Emma Nelton tied the state records in the interview and music categories.
The national competition will be held April 26-28 in in Albuquerque, NM.
Waukesha South Finishes Strong
Waukesha’s other academic decathlon team, from Waukesha South High School, finished sixth overall at the state competition. Waukesha South’s team placed fourth at the regional competition this year.
Academic Decathlon Coach Eric White said he was really proud of the team.
“They worked hard and did well,” he said.
Both Waukesha teams were dealing with new coaches. Otto, last year the coach at South, came to West, replacing successful and popular West coach Duane Stein, who retired last year.