The culmination of eight months of studying, preparing, practicing, and mastering content across multiple subjects occurred at Sunnyside High School on Saturday, Feb. 3.

This year’s topic focused on technology and humanity, meaning the materials centered on this central theme in all subjects, including literature, social science, math, economics, science, art and music.

In addition to the essay prompts, all topics centered on early twentieth-century technological inventions. Famous science fiction novels and films like “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley and the 1989 extraterrestrial movie “E.T.” were central to the subjects.

English teacher and Academic Decathlon coach David Magoon has been leading teams through the process for 20 years. Because the team has performed consistently over the last three years, it has moved up to division one.

The team contained 13 scholars and competed against 22 other schools, including the long-standing champion, University High. First up, the Honors group did well, scoring 10 points, followed by 6 and then 13. In between questions, Star Wars music filled the gymnasium.

The completion at Sunnyside followed a two-day testing period. The most recent was at Fresno State on Jan. 27, where students presented a memorized speech, delivered an impromptu speech, and engaged in an interview.

The awards ceremony concluded the night with Sussan Rivas and Ray Alfaro winning silver medals in essay writing. Angela Rosa earned a silver medal in the interview. Ray Alfaro and Viviana Jasso earned bronze medals, along with Stephanie Berber, who brought home a gold medal in economics.

Rivas earned a bronze in science, while Jasso won a $100 scholarship for placing tenth overall with 4,932 points. Each coach gave a decathlete a medal based on who they deemed fit toward the end of the ceremony.

Overall, the team placed sixth out of all twenty-two schools, totaling 30,677 points.

Samantha Rangel