Edison Wins Fresno's Academic Decathlon 13-Yrs in a Row

February 10, 2009 9:04:48 PM PST
For the 13th year in a row the same Valley high school has walked away with the championship trophy from Fresno County's Academic Decathlon. This is one of the toughest mental competitions in the county. Brandishing their medals like Olympians-students with the Edison High Academic Decathlon Team say all their hard work has paid off.

Daniel Houston said, "There has never been anything I have worked so hard for and had it all come together in one moment it was wonderful."

They say part of the secret to winning the 2009 Academic Decathlon is a balance of hitting the books-and a little down time.

Rahul Bhakta said, "Many, many, many hours. I spent more time studying than at my own house."

The teams Coach, Gary Mrkish says Fresno Unified is ranked as the second most competitive district in the state just behind Los Angeles Unified.

Coach Gary Mrkish said, "With Bullard, Hallmark, University High and ourselves we've made this a really competitive area."

And winning for a 13th year is no small feat, especially when you consider some of Edison's challenges. For example this is an all new team and only one student will return next year. And the coach says this school starts preparing for the competition later than most others. So how'd they do it?

"We try not to use the excuse oh, I'm a C student therefore I can score lower. We push our C's to score up there with our A's," said Mrkish.

And for senior and C student-- Taylor McGill-this competition has helped him to get focused on his future.

Taylor McGill said, "Probably one of the hardest things I've ever done and probably the best preparation going to college. You really study a lot and you have to put a lot of dedication into this."

Now students have five more weeks of studying and preparation before they compete at the state level.

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