L.A. HIGH CAPTURES SUPER QUIZ PRIZE.
Los Angeles High School won the Academic Decathlon Super Quiz competition Saturday, but students from El Camino Real High School remained confident they were still in contention to take the overall decathlon prize again after winning the national championship last year.
``We did all right. The Super Quiz is not weighted as heavily,'' said Kamil Nagji, a senior on the El Camino team.
The Super Quiz, the last in a grueling series of 10 Academic Decathlon contests, consisted of a 40-question written test and a fast-moving team response to oral questions.
Sylmar High School tied for third place with Garfield and Lincoln high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District contest, behind second-place winner Belmont High.
In the Los Angeles County Super Quiz competition for schools outside the LAUSD, also held Saturday, Burbank High School tied for second place with Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, behind first-place El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera.
The overall decathlon winners for the LAUSD and Los Angeles County will be announced Thursday.
In the Ventura County competition, Moorpark High School's Team 1A took first place in the overall decathlon, followed by Moorpark High's Team 1B, Simi Valley High School Team 1A, Adolfo Camarillo High School Team 1A and Simi Valley High's Team 1B. Student Dennis Hsieh from Adolfo Camarillo scored the most points, 7,562 out of 10,000.
At the gymnasium at Los Angeles Southwest College, KTLA anchor Larry McCormick moderated the oral question-and-answer session during the LAUSD competition, the only portion of the decathlon open to the public.
Teams representing the LAUSD's 49 regular high schools, six magnet schools, two learning centers and two teams from the Senior High Options program all hoped to win a trophy they could display in their school during the coming year.
The teams answered multiple-choice questions on this year's topic, ``The Brain: Looking Inward.''
Each nine-person team consists of an equal mix of students with A, B and C grade averages, and students compete within their letter-grade groups.
Even after the winner was announced Saturday, Meeta Chakravarti, an El Camino senior, said she remained confident of her team's chances for an overall decathlon victory. ``It was a little disappointing, but El Camino never really did well on the Super Quiz,'' she said. ``We focus on other areas.''
Last year, the Woodland Hills school took the district's top decathlon prize, although it placed third in the Super Quiz, then went on to win the championship.
Students from Taft High School in Woodland Hills, which has traditionally been El Camino's chief competitor, felt they too were still in contention, even though they did not win the Super Quiz.
``I feel confident,'' said Nannette Bourdon, a senior on the Taft team.
Supporters for the Taft and El Camino teams across the aisle from each other in the grandstands engaged in a friendly rivalry Saturday.
``It's a very personal battle (between El Camino and Taft). They are good but we're better,'' said Taft senior Ryan Becker, one of the students cheering from the stands.
The winning team will be determined by the total of the top six individual scores in each of the previous nine events, plus the scores from Saturday's Super Quiz. The LAUSD team that will go on to the state decathlon, to be held at the University of the Pacific in Stockton on March 12-14, will be announced Thursday.
PHOTO (1) Supporters of El Camino Real High School cheer its team during Saturday's Super Quiz at Los Angeles Southwest College.
(2) Cecillia Ramos of Sylmar High School beams as judge Wendell Greer signals that three team members answered correctly.
John McCoy/Daily News