L.A. Archdiocese Academic Decathlon Competition

The Decathlon competition took place on Sunday March 5th at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach. Each team member was assigned to study a particular subject for Super Quiz, and a separate topic for Individual testing.

  • Gene Smith – Science Super Quiz and Individual
  • Heather Dopke – Fine Arts Super Quiz and Individual
  • Vivian  Nguyen – Social Studies Super Quiz and Individual
  • Samuel Campagna – Fine Arts Super Quiz and Math Individual
  • Matthew Cabato – Literature Super Quiz and English Individual  
  • Maggie Giardello – Religion Super Quiz and Individual
  • Christopher Tom – Religion Super Quiz and Current Events Individual
  • Mark Valenzuela – Social Studies Super Quiz
  • Joe Knoll – Religion Alternate
  • Tim Parisi – Literature Super Quiz
  • Hannah Sherman – Fine Arts Alternate
  • Hannah Lee – Science Alternate

Our devoted St. Philip representatives traveled to Long Beach over the weekend to compete for 12 hours straight, with breaks to eat in between. Decathletes have met each Friday and each Sunday to study, for five months in total. Different informational books are assigned for each Super Quiz subject and for each Individual subject. On March 5th, the big day, the team competed amongst over a thousand kids from 105 schools in the archdiocese.

The decathletes competed in three different sections of testing. Logic, the first section, consisted of twenty word and math puzzle questions allotted to the team for a period of fifty minutes. Among the myriad of puzzles, there were various cryptograms, sudoku puzzles, logic grids, KenKens, logical fallacies, drop quotes, kakuro, and others. Overall, the St. Philip team placed 5th in Logic out of 105 schools.

The second portion, Individual questions, tested decathletes on their respective subjects and information from their books. Consisting of 50 total questions, there were many ties for tenth through first place. Samuel Campagna placed 7th in Math, and Vivian Nguyen placed 6th in Social Studies. The team did very well overall!

It’s important to note that the Annual Academic Decathlon Competition is not only an event, but a gathering to celebrate the beauty of Catholic education. All staff, audience, participants, and security stood together in an hour of Mass centered around the start of Lent. Lastly, the team took a Super Quiz multiple choice test about their subjects and answered ten questions for five subjects. Each question was read aloud as team members held up their final answer in dead silence, then with thundering energy from the audience members. Overall, the St. Philip team placed 7th in Super Quiz.

The Decathlon Competition is always a very important event that distinguishes the Catholic education system from any other. The team of thirteen students represented St. Philip’s well! The pleasure in having the opportunity to represent our school was completely ours!