After knocking out a state championship title, the Academic Decathlon team is headed off to nationals in Frisco, Texas today. The team will put their knowledge and skills to the ultimate test April 19-21. They are competing against 55 winning teams from all over the United States alongside teams from China and the United Kingdom that are competing in the international portion of the competition.
The team, consisting of senior members Emme Andersen, Charisma Manalo, Megan Cornwall, Lydia Sumrall, Mackenzie Fousel, Max Varela, Adrian Ronquillo, and Largim Zhuta, is the first team from Southeast Alaska to make it to nationals.
Since this is the first time a small school has won a state title, the team believes this win is a breakthrough for all small schools.
“I feel really great about it,” said Emme Andersen. “It’s the first time any team has done this and it feels like we broke the glass ceiling of small schools never winning.”
Even though Kayhi triumphed over the other southeast schools, Region V still shows support for the Kings’ success.
“The southeast teams are very supportive of each other,” said Max Varela. “So when Kayhi won, it was like all of southeast won.”
With the ACDC team being a part of Kayhi’s history since the 80’s, they felt a victory was overdue and they are honored to have been a part of this team.
“Every year that we’ve gone to state, we have been eager to do better,” said Lydia Sumrall. “We’ve worked really hard to continuously break our own personal records and do our best.”
Many of the members of this team were shocked to win the state title and are looking forward to the nationals competition. They are all excited to be participating and representing their state.
While all the other teams are focused on competing, Largim Zhuta is looking forward to cracking some jokes with the other teams.
“The thing I’m most looking forward to is seeing how many Texans I can ask, ‘How does it feel being the second biggest state?’”