West High School won second place in the 15th Annual California Academic Decathlon state finals in Stockton. Archrival Taft High School of Woodland Hills came in first, and Laguna Hills High School took third place.
This is the fourth year that West has made it to the state championship, and decathlon coach George Floratos said he was a little disappointed his team didn't win the competition last weekend.
"I really expected them to win this year," said Floratos, who teaches science classes in addition to coaching the team.
West scored 46,278 points out of a possible 60,000. Taft earned 48,974 points in the two-day testing, often called "The Battle of the Brains." Nine-member teams from each school include three A students, three B students and three C students in grades 10 to 12. Students with the highest point totals are eligible for scholarships at the University of the Pacific.
Floratos said the rivalry between the first- and second-place teams was friendly.
"I think universally if you asked the (West) kids, they would say we're glad it was them since it wasn't us," Floratos said. The Taft and West students spent much of their free time together, and even mingled on the winners stand, hugging each other and trading high-fives.