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Bishop Amat Tops County's Scholastic Test


Bishop Amat Memorial High School landed the No. 1 spot among private schools for the fourth straight year in Los Angeles County's annual academic decathlon.

Four San Gabriel Valley public high school teams ranked in the top 10 countywide, and 11 others were in the top 40 among 83 schools competing in the county contest.

The results of the public high school competition, announced at an awards banquet Wednesday night, showed defending champs Glen A. Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights coming in second countywide, behind West High School in Torrance. Arcadia High School placed third, Claremont High School was No. 6, and Diamond Bar High School was No. 9.

"I think my students did very well," said Wilson coach Jim Kelly. "I'm very satisfied with their performance."

Despite its second-place overall finish, Wilson won the coveted trophy in the Super Quiz, a five-question, multiple-choice quiz that this year dealt with space exploration since 1960. Three of six competing Wilson students received perfect scores.

San Gabriel students who got perfect scores in the Super Quiz included Kenny Yoon, Arcadia; Van Villanueva and Joseph Lee, Baldwin Park High School; Elaine Nelson, Blair High, Pasadena; Ezra Parker, Claremont; Andrew Chin and Gloria Kim, Diamond Bar; Rajesh Yerasi, Rowland High School, Rowland Heights; Francisco Matamala and Ian Semmis, South Pasadena High, and Yvonne M. Cooprider, Chris L. Phillips and Michelle Marie Ivey, Wilson High.

In the private school division, Bishop Amat in La Puente fended off a strong challenge by Super Quiz-winner Servite High School of Anaheim and emerged the winner in a field of 15 schools. The awards for the private schools were presented the evening of the daylong competition Nov. 17.

"I was holding my breath when they were announcing the top 10," said Bishop Amat coach Mary O'Neil. "It was kind of nerve-racking. (But) they pulled it off, so I'm really happy."

Bishop Amat students who won medals included Roderick Diaz, Taaneem Campwala, Jin Kim, Rajen Bose, Peter De Vries, Spencer Yuen, Jason Jones, Daniel Montellano and Patrick Wang.

The decathlon tests students in 10 areas: economics, English and literature, essay writing, fine arts, mathematics, physical and biological sciences, social science, prepared and impromptu speech-making, interview and the Super Quiz, the only public portion.

The overall winner in each division competes at the state level March 15 to 17 in Riverside.

LOCAL WINNERS San Gabriel Valley schools in the top 40 in the academic decathlon. 2. Wilson High School, Hacienda Heights

3. Arcadia High School

6. Claremont High School

9. Diamond Bar High School

13. Rowland High School, Rowland Heights

16. Blair High School, Pasadena

17. Glendora High School

18. San Gabriel High School

21. Bonita High School, La Verne

23. Monrovia High School

24. Temple City High School

27. Nogales High School, La Puente

33. Arroyo High School, El Monte

34. Mountain View High School, El Monte

36. Baldwin Park High School

Private schools (top 15) 1. Bishop Amat Memorial High School, La Puente

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