Photo By: Gilbert Varela

Kyle Smith
Staff Writer

The Kayhi ACDC team won the USAD National tournament in Frisco, Texas this past weekend. No Kayhi team has ever taken state, let alone win the National Championship.
“It was about time we won,” said Largim Zhuta, senior ACDC member of three years.  “Last year we got second place and lost to Lathrop by nine points, which is less than a question.”
Zhuta and his senior teammates were hungry for revenge in their last year in the ACDC program at Kayhi.
“This year was Kayhi’s year.  For many of the students on the team, this was our last go at it. It feels amazing that we were able to make history twice in one year and leave our mark on Kayhi,” said Zhuta. ”In my opinion, this year’s team is like the 1992 Dream Team compared to all previous Kayhi teams. We’re just a bunch of highly motivated students who strived to do well and win. Probably the best team there is, was, or ever will be.” Many of the ACDC members didn’t think they would make it as far as they did. They were just students being students and doing what they loved which led them to overachieve. “When I first joined the team, I never even thought about getting to this point,” said Max Varela, senior ACDC member of three years. Getting here has taken years and the payoff was worth every hour of studying. Every day at practice was a joy. We spent hours discussing the materials and studying, but also growing as a team.”
With the season ending, decathletes look forward to being able to relieve their studying stress and celebrate their victory by burning all their materials.
“The burning of study guides will be really therapeutic,’’ said Zhuta. “I’ll be honest. The thing that will feel more satisfying than winning State, as well as Nationals, will be burning all the guides and notes we have. It has been cool winning, but this has been stressful especially since I’m involved in a lot of other activities.”
Being the first team from Alaska to win nationals is a huge deal. It’s not just a big deal to Kayhi but to all schools in Alaska as well.

See personal scores below
Largim Zhuta: won bronze medal in Science.
Emme Andersen: won bronze in Literature and bronze in Music.
Adrian Ronquillo: won silver in Science, bronze in Economics and also Music.
Megan Cornwall: won gold in Speech, and in Interview, as well as a bronze in Science.
Charisma Manalo: earned 4th in Music, 4th in Science, and had the 3rd highest score on the team, with an individual score of 6,769.1.
Mackenzie Fousel: won gold in Music and Mathematics, a silver in Art and literature, bronze in Economics, and Science. She earned a $500 scholarship with the 3rd-highest varsity total score.
Lydia Sumrall: won gold in Art, a silver in Economics,  Music, and Science, bronze in Essay and Social Science. She earned a $750 scholarship with the 2nd-highest overall score.
Max Varela: won gold in Art, Economics and Social Science, bronze in Science, and won $500 for receiving the MVP title and having the team’s highest individual score of 7,595.4. 



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