ALEMANY WINS QUIZ; EL CAMINO TAKES SECOND.Byline: David R. Baker Daily News Staff Writer
Two San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. high school teams seized the top spots in Saturday's Super Quiz at the state Academic Decathlon decathlon (dĭkăth`lŏn), in modern Olympic games, a contest for men held over two days and composed of 10 track-and-field events. , beating 48 other teams from across California.
Alemany High School of Mission Hills placed first in the two-hour test, which grilled students on their knowledge of the brain.
Decathlon powerhouse El Camino Real High School El Camino Real High School (also known locally as "ECR" and by some more recently as "ELCO") is a public secondary school located in the Woodland Hills district of the San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles, California. , last year's national champion, came in second, while their Ventura County rival, Moorpark High School Moorpark High School, located in Moorpark, California, is a public high school in the Moorpark Unified School District and currently has an enrollment of 2,478 students. , tied for seventh.
Hugging her Alemany teammates, a beaming Gemma Cacho of Sylmar said the months of grueling study had finally paid off.
``The (answers) I knew just popped into my head,'' said Cacho, 18, looking pleasantly amazed. ``I didn't have to think about it at all.''
The Super Quiz results announced Saturday were only preliminary and could change, since two questions were disqualified dis·qual·i·fy
tr.v. dis·qual·i·fied, dis·qual·i·fy·ing, dis·qual·i·fies
a. To render unqualified or unfit.
b. To declare unqualified or ineligible.
2. after the test and a third remained under review. Nor does the Super Quiz champion necessarily win the entire three-day event three-day event
a competition in the pleasure horse sport comprising usually one day each for dressage, cross country and show jumping. , since Saturday's contest counts for just 5 percent of the final score.
Still, Alemany and El Camino students said the quiz boosted their hopes of taking the state title when results are announced this morning. Not that anyone wanted to get smug just yet.
``I'm more confident now than I was last night,'' said Kamil Nagji, 18, of El Camino. ``I know we've got a good shot. Whether or not we do it is another thing.''
The Super Quiz capped two days of intense testing at the University of the Pacific and was the only part of the decathlon open to the public. Parents and friends, many of whom had made the long road trip from Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. that morning, filled one side of the school's basketball arena, sitting behind the students to eliminate cheating possibilities.
In groups of three from each school, students listened as Quiz Master Lisa Breckenridge Lisa Breckenridge is a weekday morning reporter on KTTV Channel 11 based in Los Angeles. She is the entertainment and lifestyle correspondent from 5 am to 7 am, but will usually fill in for regular anchors when needed. She will occasionally co-anchor for Good Day L.A. read multiple-choice questions about the brain. Contestants had seven seconds for each question before proctors swooped in with blue pencils to mark the answers right or wrong. The proctors then held aloft signs showing how many students from each school answered correctly before moving on to the next question.
The questions ran from anatomy to chemistry to psychology, much of it delivered in a choking barrage of medical jargon.
The crowd, including family, friends and coaches who had spent months helping contestants study, murmured guesses for each question and screamed like soccer fans when they saw how their teams fared. Was the brain's main source of energy oxygen? Glucose? Serotonin?
``The correct answer is glucose,'' Breckenridge said.
The crowd erupted.
``I love you, San Joaquin San Joaquin (săn wäkēn`), river, c.320 mi (510 km) long, rising in the Sierra Nevada, E Calif., and flowing W then N through the S Central Valley to form a large delta with the Sacramento River near Suisun Bay, an arm of San Francisco Bay. !''
``It's very stressful, but exciting too,'' said Pragna Chakravarti, whose 17-year-old daughter, Meeta, had just finished her round of questions for El Camino. ``It's a rewarding experience for us, but I give the credit to them, because there's a lot of sacrifices they make. They miss a lot of movies.''
``I can't play with her because she's studying all the time,'' said Meeta's 8-year-old sister, Debi, adding, ``I'm going to be on the decathlon team for 11th and 12th grade.''
To add to the stress, students had already spent part of the day delivering short, prepared speeches, one by one, to panels of judges in rooms scattered across campus.
Moorpark coach Larry Jones Larry Jones is also the real name of Atlanta Braves player Chipper Jones.
Walter "Larry" Jones (born September 22, 1942 in Columbus, Ohio) is a retired American basketball player. He played professionally in the NBA and ABA, from 1964 to 1974. noted that one of the judges was a former El Camino team member and questioned the propriety of including him. But Judy Combs, the decathlon's executive director, said the former team member was not allowed to judge El Camino.
Each student faced the same on-the-spot speech challenge: Keep it between three minutes "Three Minutes" is the 46th episode of Lost. It is the twenty-second episode of the second season. The episode was directed by Stephen Williams, and written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. It first aired on May 17, 2006 on ABC. 30 seconds and four minutes. Try not to stutter stut·ter
A phonatory or articulatory disorder characterized by difficult enunciation of words with frequent halting and repetition of the initial consonant or syllable.
To utter with spasmodic repetition or prolongation of sounds. .
The judges also gave each student a choice of topics and told them to compose a second speech on the spot. One minute to prepare, two to talk.
While most of decathlon events test raw knowledge, the speeches demand polish. Not an easy thing when you're midway through two days of bruising tests.
``It's like the Olympics - one mistake can kill you,'' she said. ``I said `um' once and stuttered once.''
The team then began singing ``Another One Bites the Dust.'' They knew all the words.
PHOTO Kamil Nagji of El Camino Real High School ponders the answer to a question Saturday during the state Academic Decathlon's Super Quiz in Stockton. Alemany High won.
Steve Yeater/Associated Press