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School Basks in Academic Victory

February 07, 2001|KATIE COOPER

Moorpark High School is abuzz with pride as students and staff members continue to bask in the school's victory last weekend at the Ventura County Academic Decathlon.

The team's 12 trophies line the counter in the high-traffic attendance office, and teammates were welcomed back Monday morning with Queen's "We are the Champions" played over the public address system.

"They put so much into this, and they're such special kids," said Moorpark Principal Anna Merriman.

At the team's request, a celebratory rally has been put on hold, while members prepare to square off against 49 teams in the state finals next month in Los Angeles.

"We need to focus," said team coach Larry Jones. "We've got a lot of work to do."

The nine-member team and two alternates will study about 30 hours a week for the March 16-18 state competition. The winner will advance to the national finals in Anchorage in April.

The high school's winning score against 19 teams in the county competition placed Moorpark among the top five Academic Decathlon teams nationwide. The team members also won a number of individual medals.

Members of the Moorpark High team are: Kristina Ackermann, Mahdi Gad, Matt Gray, Ashwin Jayant, Mike Morimoto, Brittanny O'Hanlon, Zach Ramirez, Judieann Tadeo, Jerome Yang, with alternates Michelle Kim and Sumeet Mitter.

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