Academic Decathlon scores in regionals

Trevor Nichols, Staff Writer

The Cougar Academic Decathlon team competed in the Region VII Academic Decathlon meet on Jan. 21, 2012. The current team ended with the highest Cinco Ranch Decathlon score in regionals since a meet in 2004. The Acadec team placed third overall.

“It’s exciting, Academic Decathlon Honors Team co-captain Nicole Chu said. “This is one of the highest rankings we’ve ever held in the state coming out of Regionals.  I’m really excited to see what we can accomplish later this month.”

In the regional competition, Roy Su won first place in the varsity division. Senior Nicole Chu placed third, and senior Varun Bora placed fourth in the honors division. Senior Saif Ali placed second overall in the scholastic division. Senior Neel Bahn, senior Anderson Frailey, and junior Cody Nguyen also won individual medals.

“I’m really glad that they made it this far, because they worked really hard to get there,” junior Mariana Silva said.  “They’ve been staying after school until five every day practicing, and it’s good that it all paid off.”

Every member of the Academic Decathlon team had to read a novel by Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness,” and study the sections of competition. The sections this year are history, physics, art, music, math, economics, language and literature. They also prepared speeches, and met nearly every day after school. Despite all the work, the team has fun during practice.

“One of the authors we’re studying is Rudyard Kipling, who wrote, among other things, Rikki-Tiki-Tavi,” Chu said. “In this story, a mongoose beats up a cobra and kills it.  Well, we’re all discussing the story and how all Indian children read it, and Varun starts talking about it, and starts making little bird motions when referring to the mongoose.  We’re all confused, so someone asks him, ‘Varun – do you know what a mongoose looks like?’  To which he replies: ‘Of course!  It’s like a crazy rabid duck!’ Mrs. Wagner, the AP Bio teacher, made a Punnett square of two ducks breeding, and all their children were mongooses. That’s also how we got our team mascot, Robin the Mongoose -he’s a giant rubber duck.”

The Cougar Decathlon team has their state competition this coming month.