The winners of the California Academic Decathlon were feted Monday by hundreds of their peers who showered them with cheers, praise and admiration for beating out 41 schools last weekend.
Treated as conquering heroes as they returned to El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, the nine-member team celebrated with friends and teachers during a rowdy noontime pep rally in the school's courtyard, which was decorated with signs reading "Congratulations State Champs" and dozens of helium balloons.
"I feel absolutely exhilarated," said Kasra Torabi, who garnered seven medals at the state contest. "If we didn't get the support that we did from the school, I would have never felt as motivated as I have. It has been truly excellent."