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Peninsula High academic decathlon team pose with some of their numerous medals in Rolling Hills Estates on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. Front row, from left, Yeji Cho, Mini Jeun, Sandy Sridhar and Alexandria Lam. Back row, from left, Madison Hama, Marisol Cruz, Aydin De Ruyter, Arpit Jalan and Keaton Ramsay. The team, which practices after school twice per week, will take part in the state tournament in March. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG)

Palos Verdes Peninsula High School beat out its friendly neighborhood rival, Redondo Union this weekend during the state competition of the Academic Decathlon in Sacramento.

The Peninsula High team placed second overall in Division 3 coming within 245 points of first place team Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences out of Granada Hills near San Fernando.

Peninsula applied stiff competition with a total overall score of 44,625.50 against Valley Academy’s score of 44,870.10. Redondo Union came in fourth place in Division 3 after Middle College from San Joaquin with an overall score of 43,224.30.

The Peninsula team, which came in eighth place out of 50 schools in this month’s Los Angeles County decathlon, earned a wild card berth for the state championship marking a milestone in the squad’s renaissance.

The school’s decathlon program went on a three-year hiatus, beginning in 2012, because of budget cuts. When the program was reinstated, in 2015, only nine students joined, said coach Anne-Marie Voegtlin. Only seven of those students qualified to compete.

But over time, both interest in the program and their rankings have grown.

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