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Academic Decathlon

Academic Decathlon

By John Kim

Many consider a decathlon the most comprehensive display of athleticism. The peak performers in a combination of ten track and field events are often dubbed the world’s greatest athletes. Academic Decathlon is no different; consisting of seven objective categories — math, science, social science, economics, literature, music, and art — and three subjective categories —  speech, essay, and interview — it is a well-rounded showing of academic prowess. Appropriately then, Northside’s own academic decathletes competed at City on Feb. 23.

The Northside decathlon team came from a very impressive fourth place finish at Regionals on Jan. 26. Heading into City, the team felt pretty good about itself. “We are feeling pretty confident after taking the objective categories during Colloquium earlier this week,” said Tyler O’Brien, Adv. 909. At the event, seven objective categories are taken in advance on a computer, which occurred during Colloquium with Mr. Golden on Feb. 20 for Northside’s team. The squad took the remaining three subjective categories at Whitney Young on Feb. 23. “I personally enjoy the subjective categories more so Saturday was actually more enjoyable to me,” said O’Brien. “At City, there are three essay prompts that you can choose from and I chose the one asking about how the draft has evolved over time in the US. While this was a little challenging, I felt that I did well enough on the section.”

Northside ended up winning fourth at the City competition. The team was led by Tian Luo, Adv. 008, who got second place for the Interview section. Other members of the team contributed with to the placing, including Simon Carter, Adv. 009, who came in first in Interview; O’Brien, who finished first place in Interview and sixth in Speech; Mackeda Sahelu, Adv. 905, who came in second place in Interview; Justin Schechter, Adv. 905, who earned second place in Speech, fourth place in Interview, and third place in Economics; and Kahaan Shah, Adv. 005, who received second place in Interview.

This was a very impressive showing by the team due to practice time constraints. “Due to CPS budgeting issues, our team is disadvantaged in that we only get to meet and practice for Academic Decathlon during Colloquium on Wednesdays with Mr. Golden,” said Tian Luo, Adv. 008. Other schools like Von Steuben and Whitney Young have a class dedicated to Academic Decathlon which gives them an advantage.

The team advanced to Nationals this weekend so wish them team luck!



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