Academic Decathletes Finish Second at State Competition

For the second year in a row, Highland Park’s Academic Decathlon team was the runner-up at the state competition. The Scots earned 48,455 points last weekend in San Antonio, second only to Friendswood’s 50,933 in the Medium Schools division, which included 25 teams. In fact, only two of the 40 teams in the Large Schools division had higher scores than Highland Park’s.

Decathletes compete in 10 events — art, essay, economics, interview, language/literature, math, music, science, social science, and speech — in three divisions: varsity, scholastic, or honor.

Senior Jean Luc Vorster was the first overall scholastic champion in Highland Park history. He also broke Thomas Mylott’s Highland Park record for individual points by scoring 8,423 out of a possible 10,000. Vorster edged out his close friend by only one point, ending a friendly rivalry that saw Mylott — a University of Texas freshman — cheering the team on at the Super Quiz Relay, which took place on the campus of San Antonio College.

Junior Xavier Anani was fourth overall in the varsity division. Senior Jaclyn Zhou was sixth overall in the honor division.

State champions in individual events include senior Margaret Wright in language/literature, senior Sam Crofford in music, Anani in social science, and Vorster in both music and language/literature.

Strong performances were also seen from senior captain Ellie Reynolds (bronze medals in math and interview), junior Charles Harper (fourth place in science), senior Diana Wigginton (silver medal in math), and junior Andriy Grygorenko bronze medal in math and music). Junior William Lake rounded out the squad, and helped prepare the team for competition.

Coaches Tom Pollock and Greg Bergeron were proud of the team’s efforts all year long, as the Scots’ performance was one of the best in the nation. Next year’s team now begins work on the 2014 campaign, seeking the first state championship in Highland Park AcDec history.

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