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VALLEY STRONG IN SUPER QUIZ THREE SCHOOLS PLACE IN TOP 6.

Byline: Lisa M. Sodders Staff Writer

Three San Fernando Valley high school teams placed in the top five Saturday in the oral relay Super Quiz portion of Los Angeles Unified School District's Academic Decathlon competition.

Los Angeles High School had the top score with 57 points out of a possible 60, followed by Marshall High School with 52 points.

Woodland Hills' Taft High School and Garfield High School tied with 51 points. Woodland Hills' El Camino Real High School and Granada Hills High School tied with 49 points.

Palisades Charter scored 48 points.

``It never gets old,'' said a gleeful Los Angeles High coach Jim Hatem, whose team has won the combined oral and written Super Quiz event the previous eight years in a row. ``You wait all year for this. I'm so proud of these kids. This bodes very well for us.''

The oral portion of the Super Quiz accounts for less than 10 percent of the total scores, but is the only portion of the competition that is open to the public. The overall winner of LAUSD's regional competition won't be announced until the district's awards dinner Friday. Last year, Taft won the LAUSD regional competition.

Lissa Gregorio, an El Camino Real coach, and Taft coach Art Berchin both said they were pleased with their teams' scores, and look forward to the final tally.

``They did really well against some tough competition - Los Angeles, Marshall, Taft, Granada Hills,'' said Gregorio. ``We're happy to be up there with them.''

Teams from Ventura County, Los Angeles County and area private schools also completed their regional competition Saturday. Ventura County will announce its regional winner today. Los Angeles County will announce its winner Thursday. Private schools will announce their champion Feb. 12.

More than 1,000 people filled the Wooden Center on the University of California, Los Angeles, campus to cheer Saturday for their favorite scholars.

Lincoln High brought its tiger mascot; Marshall High brought its ``Johnny Barrister'' mascot.

Fans waved pennants, held up signs, and one Palisades Charter parent even played the ``Star Wars'' theme on a harmonica as his son passed.

The Academic Decathlon consists of multiple-choice tests in art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music and science, plus the Super Quiz oral relay and written contests, as well as interview, speech and essay competitions.

Winners of the various regional competitions will go on to the California Academic Decathlon on March 17-19 in Los Angeles. The state champion will compete at the U.S. Academic Decathlon April 26-29 in San Antonio, Texas.

California has won 12 of 24 national championships, with eight of those won by LAUSD schools: Marshall has won two national championships, Taft has won two, and El Camino Real, last year's national champion, has won four.

Lisa M. Sodders, (818) 713-3663

lisa.sodders(at)dailynews.com

CAPTION(S):

2 photos

Photo:

(1) Students from Taft High School were among LAUSD schools competing Saturday in the oral relay portion of the Academic Decathlon at UCLA. Los Angeles High took the top spot with 57 out of 60 possible points.

(2) A fan cheers on students from Sylmar High School during the oral relay Super Quiz on Saturday at UCLA.

Joel P. Lugavere/Special to the Daily News
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 5, 2006
Words:540
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