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Decathlon team heads to state

For the first time in New Richmond High School history, its Academic Decathlon team has advanced past the regional competition and thus qualified for state.

The team of Joey Miller, Ally Halonen, Mason Koch, Zach Postma, Tom Tenner, Abbi Turner, Nate LaPorte, Nick Bradish, Chuck Barbeau, Breelyn Karno and Victoria Johnson is currently the second ranked Division 2 team in the state.

Decathlon is a competition involving numerous subject areas, two speeches, an interview and an essay. The students have a theme they have to study for leading up to the competition. This year it was Russian culture and science; a novel they have to read (Dr. Zhivago); five short stories and poems; 14 selected music pieces; 16 selected art pieces they must study; as well as general theory on music, math, econ, art, social science, science and literature.

"The student's hard work is to be commended first and foremost," said Jarrod Hamdorf, teacher and advisor. "But I think the entire staff should take pride since the base of knowledge in the above subjects is what allows us to succeed."

The team members fared well in the following areas:

Language Lit: 1st Varsity, LaPorte; 1st Scholastic, Turner; 2nd Honors, Miller.

Music: 2nd Varsity, Bradish; 3rd Varsity, LaPorte; 4th Scholastic, Postma; 1st Scholastic, Turner; 4th honors, Miller.

Science & Social Science: 2nd Varsity, Bradish; 5th Varsity, Barbeau; 2nd Scholastic, Postma.

Art: 3rd Varsity, Bradish; 2nd Varsity, LaPorte; 4th Scholastic, Turner; 3rd Scholastic, Tenner; 4th Honors, Miller.

Math: 4th Varsity, LaPorte; 3rd (tie) Varsity, Bradish and Barbeau; 6th Scholastic, Turner; 4th Scholastic, Postma; 2nd Scholastic, Tenner; 2nd Honors, Halonen; 3rd Honors, Miller; 5th Honors, Koch.

Econ: 3rd Varsity, Bradish; 6th Varsity, Barbeau; 5th Varsity, LaPorte; 1st Scholastic, Postma; 5th Scholastic, Turner; 3rd Scholastic, Tenner; 5th Honors, Koch; 4th Honors, Miller.

Essay: 3rd Varsity, Bradish; 2nd Varsity, LaPorte; 6th Varsity, Barbeau; 5th Scholastic, Turner; 6th Scholastic, Postma; 1st Scholastic, Tenner.

Speech: 2nd Varsity, Bradish; 1st Scholastic, Tenner; 4th Honors, Miller.

Interview: 3rd Varsity, Bradish; 5th Varsity, Barbeau; 4th Varsity, LaPorte; 6th Scholastic, Postma; 5th Honors, Miller.

Overall: Varsity: 10th Barbeau, 3rd LaPorte, 2nd Bradish. Scholastic: 4th Turner, 3rd Postma, and 2nd Tenner. Honors: 11th Koch, 12th Halonen, 3rd Miller (3rd overall in the region).

"There isn't a single area we scored out of the top 10 in the region," Hamdorf said.

Wisconsin Academic Decathlon is a non-profit, extra-curricular, high school program and charter member of the United States Academic Decathlon. Wisconsin maintains the ranking of fourth largest participating state, among 38 nationwide, in its 30th year of competition.

Each high school team consists of nine full-time students and is made up three Honor (3.75 to 4.00 GPA), three students in the Scholastic (3.00-3.74 GPA) and three in the Varsity (0-2.99 GPA) category. All nine students write all the tests and the top two scores in each category determine the team score. In this way, the program offers the appeal of mental competition to all achievement levels at a school.

Decathletes must be enrolled as full time students in the ninth through 12th grade in public or private high schools.

Through the process of competitive elimination in the November Local Competition (115 Teams) and January Regional Competition (60 teams), 20 schools and 180 team members are advancing to the State Competition to be held in Wisconsin Dells at the Wilderness Resort, March 14-15.