The Cazenovia Academic Decathlon team’s three senior members each won a medal, and the team placed 17th out of 51 teams in the “super quiz” category at the national competition held April 24 through 26 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Cazenovia High School senior Bob Louis won a gold medal for his essay, which was ranked No. 1 in the competition, with a score of 983 out of 1,000 points. Classmates Danielle Axelson and Emma Dudley each won a bronze medal for their interviews.
The team — comprised of seniors Axelson, Dudley and Louis, juniors Remi Boissonnas, Katherine Boone, Brock Houghton, Riley Lloyd and Piper McKinnon, and sophomore Joe Mevec — advanced to nationals after winning the state title in March at State University College at Brockport. (11th-graders Chase Matteson and Lars Ohlsen served as alternates on the team.)
Cazenovia finished 41st overall (out of 51 schools) and 11th in the small schools division, adviser Ben Wightman said.
“The 41st overall finish was a little disappointing, but the 17th place finish in the ‘super quiz’ was very exciting,” Wightman said.
During the daylong events, competitors take seven written exams — each with 50 multiple-choice questions and a 30-minute time limit. Next, they participate in an oral relay quiz in front of an audience. In all, the students are tested in 10 categories — art, economics, essay, interview, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, social science and speech.
Academic Decathlon teams are not the exclusive domains of straight-A students. According to the official rules, each AD team must consist of three A students, three B students and three C students (plus alternates).
“For the first time in Academic Decathlon history, the students were allowed to collaborate with some of their teammates during the super quiz,” Wightman said. “We weren't sure what to expect from the new format at first, but after trying it, the students all said it was an improvement.”