Academic Decathlon

The team from Tracy High had the highest score and the highest-scoring individual at the 36th annual San Joaquin County Academic Decathlon and will go to the state competition in Sacramento.

For the second year in a row, Tracy High School took top honors at the annual San Joaquin County Academic Decathlon last Saturday, beating out a field of strong competitors from other county high schools.

As its name indicates, Academic Decathlon challenges participants to compete in 10 academic fields. The two-weekend competition began Jan. 28 with interview, speech and essay competitions at the San Joaquin County Office of Education.

The final round a week later involved tests in art, economics, language and literature, math, music, social science and science, followed by the public Super Quiz on the theme of World War II at Lathrop High School.

This year’s competitors came from 12 schools, including Tracy, West, Millennium and Mountain House high schools.

As the overall winner of the 36th San Joaquin County Academic Decathlon, Tracy High School was presented with the Dave Sorgent Winner’s Cup. The nine-member team will go to Sacramento to compete at the state level March 23-26.

Surya Nehra of Tracy High was named the top-scoring student and was awarded the Walter Rathhaus Award with a $1,000 scholarship. He also received a $500 scholarship for having the highest overall score at the honors level after placing second in 2016.

His teammate Kryz Goc-ong was the top overall student at the varsity level and received a $500 scholarship. Tracy’s Nathan Tran was second overall in honors and Ian Balogh of Millennium High School was second overall at the scholastic level, winning $200 scholarships.

Each nine-person team is made up of three members at each of three levels based on GPA — honors for 3.75 to 4.0 and above, scholastic for 3.0 to 3.74 and varsity for GPAs up to 2.99.

The teams from Tracy and Millennium were recognized as the second- and third-place winners in the Super Quiz, behind Lathrop High School and Manteca High School, which tied for first place.

Several local students also went home with gold medals in individual subject areas.

Nehra won gold in honors economics, interview, social science, music, art and science. Other Division I gold medals went to Tran for honors language-literature, art and mathematics; Goc-ong for varsity art; Rahul Rajeev of Mountain House for honors essay; Jalen King of Millennium for scholastic interview; Koa Garcia of Tracy High for scholastic social science; and Nicole Engen of Millennium High, Achyuth Varma of Mountain House High and Kinza Muhammad of Tracy High for honors, scholastic and varsity speech.

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