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State's Champs Saluted

March 17, 2004|Regine Labossiere | Times Staff Writer

Hundreds of students and teachers gathered in El Camino Real High School's courtyard Tuesday morning to celebrate their Academic Decathlon team's state championship and cheer the squad on for the national competition next month.

Last weekend, the El Camino Real team beat 49 other California schools in the state championship in Sacramento.

At the pep rally on the Woodland Hills campus, team member Cassidy Ellis said she was practically speechless with joy. "I have run out of adjectives to express how I feel," Ellis, a senior, said.

Other students said they were proud of the team's performance on the battery of scholastic tests, interviews and speeches that comprise the decathlon. El Camino Real scored 50,472 out of a possible 60,000 points and topped second place Edison High from Fresno County by 477 points.

Some in the crowd yelled, "Good luck in Idaho!" referring to the L.A. Unified School District team's next stop: the U.S. Academic Decathlon in Boise in mid-April. Over the last 10 years, El Camino Real teams have won five state titles and two national Academic Decathlon championships.

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