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Cazenovia Academic Decathlon Team wins state championship

The Cazenovia Academic Decathlon posed with their awards after winning the Section III title in January.

The Cazenovia Academic Decathlon posed with their awards after winning the Section III title in January.

The Cazenovia High School Academic Decathlon team is the state champion once again, after it defeated five other schools for the title on Feb. 28 and March 1 at SUNY Brockport. Team members brought home 35 medals from the competition, and have now won the state contest nine out of the last 10 years.

Their victory now opens the path for the team — made up of members Brock Houghton, Katherine Boone, Joe Mevec, Riley Lloyd, Danielle Axelson, Emma Dudley, Chase Matteson, Piper McKinnon, Lars Ohlsen, Bob Louis, and Remi Boissonnas — to attend the national championship competition in Honolulu, Hawaii, in April.

“The competition this year was really intense because it was such an interesting subject [World War I] and of course because the winner got to go to Hawaii. We had to work much harder than we ever have before,” said team member Danielle Axelson.

An Academic Decathlon is a 10-event scholastic competition for teams of high school students, in which participants are tested in the areas of art, economics, essay, interview, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, social studies and speech. Everyone on the team takes every test, and the three students with the highest scores in each subject receive medals.

The Cazenovia team took first place at the 2014 sectional event at the end of January, where it defeated five other Central New York school districts and team members brought home 26 individual medals, in addition to the overall first-place trophy and first place in the Super Quiz oral relay competition.

At states last weekend, Cazenovia came in first place after a very close competition from Westhill, which placed second, and Port Washington, which placed third.

Once the news of Cazenovia’s victory was official last Saturday, district Superintendent Bob Dubik tweeted his congratulations and wrote “Next stop Hawaii!”

In order for the team to be able to make the trip to nationals in Hawaii, however, they must first raise the $20,000 needed to pay their way, which the school district cannot afford to pay.

Team members have been holding fundraisers and seeking private sponsors since school began last year, and currently has about $10,000 in the bank, Axelson said. The team “has a plan” for raising the remaining $10,000, which they will begin implementing right away, she said.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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