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Caz brings home Academic Decathlon honors for fifth year

For the last five years, students and coaches attending the New York State Academic Decathlon championship tournament have gotten to know who Cazenovia is.

Cazenovia is, after all, the reigning state champ and 2010 has been no different.

On Friday and Saturday, decathletes from Cazenovia joined students from five other school districts at SUNY Brockport to compete for the title and see who would move on to the national competition at the end of April in Omaha, Neb., and Cazenovia once again brought home the trophy.

Heading the team as captain, Frederick "Fritz" Koennecke was already mentally preparing himself for the trip to Omaha shortly after learning of Cazenovia's state championship on Saturday. As top medal earner, Koennecke said he studies 10 hours a week for Academic Decathlon outside of studying for his regular school subjects.

But having the most medals and being able to compete at the level he has for the last four years, the high school senior said it's a lot to live up to.

"I'm just barely filling the shoes of Beezley Kiernan," he said.

Kiernan for several years was top medalist for Cazenovia and helped lead the team to its first national competition in 2005.

Despite the shoes he's been trying to fill, Koennecke has worked hard to get himself in the top slot and also aid his team in winning gold medals. This year has been particularly difficult as there were only four returning students.

"This year we had essentially an entirely new team," Koennecke said. "It's been an experience."

The experience has been positive, though, leaving the team captain feeling elated and "on top of the world."

Now it's time to prepare for the national competition where Koennecke is hopeful to bring home a medal.

"I was one question away from a medal [last year]. I hope to fix that," he said.

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