News feature: Reed Wang the Decathlete

By Logan Castro, Opinion Editor

El Camino’s Academic Decathlon team competed at this year’s competition at Folsom High School on Feb. 4 and Reed Wang (‘24) brought home two gold medals. 

AcaDeca is a competition held to challenge students’ knowledge in different academic subjects such as math, science, economics and performance tests such as speech and essay writing.

In total, there are ten different competitions that each student participates in and can win a medal from. The medal system follows the same system as the olympic system, giving out bronze, silver and gold medals to the respective third, second and first placing students in each subject. 

Wang, like every student participating in AcaDeca, tried his luck in every competition but specifically struck gold in the math and science sections. 

Wang practiced for these events by using problems given by Advanced Placement classes, touching on subjects seen in classes such as Pre Calculus, AP Chemistry and AP Calculus. 

“I did lots of practice problems using old [AP] questions,” Wang stated. “AP questions help a lot as [the events] base a lot of their material on AP material.” 

Wang, and the rest of his team, look to Spanish Teacher Luz Perry as the coach of the AcaDeca team. Perry has played an instrumental role in not only the success of the team, but also continuing the tradition of AcaDeca at EC, which is not traditionally a well known event on campus. 

Perry has been coaching the AcaDeca team for four years and the team has had numerous success since Perry has been in charge, winning many medals and performing well at each year’s events.
“We have had a lot of recognitions every year that we’ve done the event, we’ve had maybe three gold medals,” Perry said. 

The event is held at a school throughout the entire day, from seven in the morning until seven at night, starting with individual testing given to all students that tests on specific subjects. From there, students are pulled out one by one to different parts of the campus to partake in different events, and also to be interviewed. 

At the end of the day, after many breaks for food, drinks and stretching, the students are given rewards and recognitions for their hard work and performance. 

There are three different levels based on grade point average that a student can be recognized in, which goes in order from Scholastic, Varsity and Honors. Wang was recognized in the highest level, Honors, in which he received both of his gold medals.

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