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Aca Dec Team Journeys To State Competition
0318 Aca Dec
The OHS Aca Dec team continues on, to compete at the California Academic Decathlon State Finals in Sacramento. The event is hosted from March 19 through 22. Competing team members appear, clockwise from bottom left: Sarah Sorenson, Taryn Lane, Ashley Caron, Caitlin Golding, Jared Medeiros, Michael Winders, Eva Galindo, Amber Williams and Connie Speer. Teresa Hammond/The Leader


The glass appears to be half full as the Oakdale High School Aca Dec Team now heads to the state championships. As a result of winning the 35th Annual Stanislaus County Academic Decathlon, the team will represent Stanislaus County at the state level. The event will be hosted in Sacramento March 19 through 22.

With an overall Team Score of 46,964.7 at the county level, the nine member competing team approaches the state championships in the position of 27th overall. According to Aca Dec Coach Linda Dodge, this places the team in Division 2 versus last year’s 15th place after county, pitting them in a higher Division among much larger schools.

“While I would have liked to place higher going into the state competition,” she said, “the nice thing is they have a better chance to earn medals since they won’t be competing against the students from LA.”

The nine member team could not be any more in agreement with their coach.

“We’re covering the same material, just different tests,” sophomore competing team member Taryn Lane said.

“We’ve all set goals or scores we want to get,” teammate Amber Williams stated.

The team acknowledged that being placed in Division 2 offers them a nice opportunity versus last year as well as an opportunity to watch the LA teams compete with one another.

“Being a member of a team like this means different people have different strengths in different areas,” Catlin Golding shared. “I like State and preparing for State more.”

When the topic of sportsmanship was broached and the team acknowledged for their genuine camaraderie at the county event, the nine were humbly gracious.

“We want to prove that small schools can do it,” Eva Galindo said of the team’s ability and demeanor.

“We definitely want to promote Oakdale,” Golding added, “but since we do so well generally we don’t want to put anybody down.”

“We can’t be inconsistent about it, that’s who we are,” Ashley Caron said.

As their Coach, Mentor and team described ‘second mom’ Dodge has high hopes for the team as they take to the contest later this week.

“Each member has set personal goals,” she said. “If they can reach those goals, we have a chance to place in Division 2, hopefully in first place.”

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