Academic Decathlon team places sixth at regionals

Camdyn Rohde, Reporter

The Academic Decathlon team participated in their first competition of the year on Friday, Jan. 8 and placed sixth overall in their region. This year’s regional competition looked a lot different from past years with members having to participate in the competition virtually. Each student took part using their own Chromebooks in the Distance Learning Lab on Friday morning. Coach Nick Kvam said that despite the major changes from last year, there were a few aspects of the competition that were still the same.

“The local competition has always been given online in the past and they don’t do the speech, the essay or all that part of it so that component is pretty flawless,” Kvam said. “The seventh part is the essay and they always write that virtually. Then once you qualify for regionals they have an essay-writing day that everyone does and that’s done online every year- COVID or not.”

Despite the fact that some things were fortunately similar to past year’s Academic Decathlon seasons, there were still differences due to COVID-19 restrictions this year.  Sophomore Autumn Young said the aspect of doing the tests virtually made it more difficult due to the fact that their eyes could get tired easier. 

“It was honestly tiring for me. I think a lot of the other people do it just to have a good time and get closer to the other people who do it. Overall, I think it went well and I think everybody enjoyed it,” Young said. 

Another difference the team had to adjust to this year was the absence of three categories in their regional decathlon competition. 

“There’s usually an interview, a prepared speech, and then an impromptu speech, but those three events got canceled this year. They tried to set up a way to do that, but they just couldn’t because there are a lot of schools who aren’t doing in-person school right now so it was just too much,” Kvam said. 

For many students on the decathlon team, some subjects prove to be more difficult than others. For junior Kaden Fritz, geometry can be a tougher subject while other subjects can be more on the easier side, depending on what the tests consist of each year. 

“Basically, it all ran pretty smoothly. I felt pretty good about it. There were a lot of questions and it took a long time. It’s kind of like the ACT except you have to have a lot of prior knowledge. Especially the science part, that was astronomy,” Fritz said. 

Individually, Fritz placed third in the math category. Team members include Lauren Batley, Kaden Fritz, Lily Huber, Jeffery Manata, Alexandria Rosin-Borland, Sophie Ryf and Autumn Young.