Peninsula is one of four South Bay high schools whose students will advance to the statewide academic decathlon next month after a strong showing in Los Angeles County’s competition.
Mark Keppel High School, in Alhambra, won the Los Angeles County Academic Decathlon, competition officials announced this week; that team will also compete at the state level.
The Mark Keppel team scored 53,704 points out of a possible 60,000 in the competition, a year after finishing second.
But Torrance’s West High School, which won the county decathlon in 2019, placed third. South High School, also in Torrance, finished fourth. Redondo Union High School, in Redondo Beach, and Palos Verdes Peninsula High School came in fifth and sixth, respectively.
he California Academy of Mathematics and Science School — on the Cal State Dominguez campus in Carson, but part of the Long Beach Unified School District — came in 17th place during the decathlon, held from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1 at El Rancho High School, in Pico Rivera. The competition featured 39 teams and more than 350 students.
The theme of this year’s academic decathlon events is “In Sickness & In Health: An Exploration of Illness & Wellness.”
Torrance’s North High School came in 14th and Torrance High School finished in 19th.
CAMS, though, was the third most-improved school this year, behind Alhambra and Lynwood high schools.
South Bay seniors, meanwhile, claimed the top-three individual scores. In order, those students are: Kendall Kirio, West High; Jacob Lee, South High School; and Cheetah Zhu, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. They each scored at least 8,700 points out of a possible 10,000.
The statewide competition is set for March 27 and 28 in Sacramento, with the winner advancing to the U.S. Academic Decathlon, scheduled for April 30 to May 2 in Anchorage, Alaska.
The winner of the Los Angeles Unified School District Academic Decathlon, held separately from the county competition, is expected to be announced Saturday, Feb. 8.
LAUSD schools have won the national championship nine years in a row, seven times by Granada Hills Charter High School and twice by El Camino Real Charter High School, which won in 2018 and 2014.
Team and individual results
Top 20 Team Scores (Out of a possible 60,00 points)
- Mark Keppel (Alhambra): 53,704
- Alhambra: 49,469
- West High (Torrance): 48,206
- South High (Torrance): 44,285
- Redondo Union: 43,161
- Palos Verdes Peninsula: 43,069
- San Gabriel: 40,780
- Rowland: 39,873
- El Rancho (Pico Rivera): 39,815
- Saugus: 38,480
- Beverly Hills: 36,175
- West Ranch (Stevenson Ranch): 35,403
- Glendora: 34,528
- North High (Torrance): 33,984
- Arroyo (El Monte): 33,231
- Mountain View (El Monte): 32,791
- California Academy of Math and Science (Carson): 32,338
- Edgewood (W. Covina): 31,836
- Torrance HS: 31,421
- South El Monte HS: 30,711
Top 3 Overall Individual Scorers (out of a possible 10,000 points)
- Kendall Kirio, West High, 12th grade: 9,286
- Jacob Lee, South High, 12th grade: 8,789
- Cheetah Zhu, Palos Verdes Peninsula, 12th grade: 8,700
Schools with Most Improved Scores (compared to last year)
- Alhambra: 15,205-point improvement
- Lynwood: 13,160-point improvement
- California Academy of Math and Science: 11,142-point improvement
Rookie School of the Year: John Glenn/Southeast Academy High School (Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District), 23,993 points (30th place overall)
Roberta Kordich Coach Award (for commitment & dedication): Coach Anne-Marie Voegtlin, Palos Verdes Peninsula