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To the Victors Go the Spoils?

California senator urges President Bush to invite Moorpark's Academic Decathlon champs to visit the White House.

May 02, 2003|Catherine Saillant | Times Staff Writer

Moorpark High School's Academic Decathlon champions will soon be trading the West Coast for the West Wing, if California Sen. Barbara Boxer has her way.

Boxer on Thursday sent a letter to President Bush asking him to invite the Moorpark championship team to the White House for a celebration after its national victory.

The team of nine students beat out 37 other high schools from across the nation to take home the championship April 26. If Bush accepts, it will be the second time a Moorpark team has toured the White House.

President Clinton invited the 1999 team for a visit after it took the national title. Moorpark's coach, Larry Jones, remembers it as a high point and hopes this year's team can repeat the event.

"Basketball teams get to go. Football teams get to go," said Jones, a 12-year veteran of the competition. "This is the best academic team in the U.S. and they deserve to go, too."

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