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Hughson claims third in Academic Decathlon event
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Hughson High School took third place in the Academic Decathlon team competition at Saturday’s 42nd annual event held outdoors in the parking lot of the Stanislaus County Office of Education in downtown Modesto.

Oakdale High School’s team finished first place while Enochs High was runner-up. Oakdale High also claimed the Super Quiz win. Enochs High School was the Challenge Cup Winner.

Eleven local high schools participated in this year’s event, including: Ceres, Hughson, Keyes Charter, Beyer, Central Catholic, Davis, Enochs, Johansen, Modesto, Oakdale and Patterson.

Individual High Point winners in each division were:

• First Place Honors Champion: Michael Balerite, Enochs High.

• First Place Scholastic Champion: Carter Franca, Oakdale High.

• First Place Varsity Champion: Johanna Fabia, Oakdale High.

• Alternate Team Member Champion: Alexia Jeevan, Oakdale High.

• Essay Winner: Nitheea Medam, Modesto High.

In the Essay competition, Kayden Perez of Hughson High School took Scholastic Silver while Hughson’s Natalie Holly won Scholastic Bronze. Devin Higgins of Hughson took Varsity 4th Place.

In Speech, Sharai Nava of Hughson High took Honors 4th Place and Natalie Holly (Hughson) took Scholastic 4th Place. Lupita Negrete (Hughson) took Varsity 5th Place.

Interview competition resulted in the following medalists and medals: Sarah Ricks (Hughson) won Honors 4th Place; Ceres High School student Samuel Mariscal took Varsity Gold; and Tiana Manuel of Keyes Charter High School claimed Varsity 5th Place.

In Mathematics, top scorers who are local included: Devin Higgins (Hughson) who took home Varsity Gold; Samuel Mariscal of Ceres High claimed Varsity Bronze; Lupita Negrete (Hughson) won Varsity 5th Place; Awad Shaif of Ceres High took Varsity 5th Place; Izabella Jacquez (Ceres High) was Alternate 4th Place; and Alexander Vas Dinis (Ceres High) was Alternate 5th Place.

In Social Science competition, the following local students who did well were: Kayden Perez (Hughson) won Scholastic 4th Place.; Natalie Holly (Hughson) took Scholastic 5th Place; Lupita Negrete (Hughson) won Varsity Gold; Devin Higgins (Hughson), claimed Varsity 5th Place; and Alexander Vas Dinis (Ceres High), took Alternate Silver. 

In Economics competition, local medalists included: Natalie Holly (Hughson) who took Scholastic 5th Place; Devin Higgins (Hughson), won Varsity Gold; Lupita Negrete (Hughson), took home Varsity Bronze; and Tiana Manuel (Keyes Charter), took Varsity 4th Place.

Among top scorers in Language and Literature were: Natalie Holly (Hughson), Scholastic 5th Place; Lupita Negrete (Hughson), Varsity Gold; and Devin Higgins (Hughson), Varsity 4th Place. 

In Art, top scorers included: Sharai Nava (Hughson), Honors Bronze; Natalie Holly (Hughson), Scholastic 5th Place; Lupita Negrete (Hughson), Varsity Gold; and Devin Higgins (Hughson), Varsity 4th Place. 

Top scorers in Music competition included: Kayden Perez (Hughson), Scholastic 4th Place; Karmen Rodriguez (Hughson), Scholastic 5th Place; Devin Higgins (Hughson), Varsity Gold; Lupita Negrete (Hughson), Varsity Bronze; Tiana Manuel (Keyes Charter), Varsity 4th Place; and Jadon Burdick (Keyes Charter), Varsity 5th Place.

In Science competition, the following local students were top finishers: Kayden Perez (Hughson), Scholastic 5th Place; Devin Higgins (Hughson), Varsity Silver; and Lupita Negrete (Hughson), Varsity Bronze 

The students weathered late-night study sessions, team practices, and hours of reading to prepare for the 2022 Stanislaus County Academic Decathlon. Hailed as the biggest academic event for local high schools, the decathlon is a series of tests, speeches and interviews featuring this year’s theme, “Water – A Most Essential Resource.” While the tests, speeches and interviews were virtual events this year, the culminating event, the Super Quiz and Awards Presentation, was held in person on Saturday afternoon.

According to SCOE Student Events Manager Cheryl Goulart, the goal of the decathlon is to stimulate intellectual growth and scholastic success.

“The competition is open to all students, not just the top-achievers,” said Goulart. “Our objective is to recognize student achievement and to emphasize the positive dimensions of education.”

Participating schools send a total of nine members to serve as the core team – up to three students in each of three categories, based on grade point averages. Schools may send as many alternate participants as they choose.

This year’s winner will represent Stanislaus County at the California Academic Decathlon State Finals, to be held virtually in March.

The event was co-sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE), E.&J. Gallo Winery and Mocse Credit Union.