Canyon Del Oro High School last week won the regional academic decathlon.

In winning its eighth-consecutive regional title, CDO’s team of five seniors, three juniors and a sophomore scored 46,965.6 points (out of 60,000), well ahead of second place Mountain View High School (43,346.2) and third place Sonoran Science Academy (36,806).

The meet was held Saturday, Jan. 31, at Marana High School.

CDO’s score is higher than any other regional score in the U.S. so far, according to the release. California schools, which have won the last six national championships, do not compete until Saturday, Feb. 6.

Individually, CDO’s Benjamin Ferell won special trophies for having the highest score out of all competitors and for having the highest rated interview, according to a release.

Daniel Hernandez of Cibola High School in Yuma earned the top speech trophy, and Jorge Vergara of Gila Ridge High School in Yuma earned the top essay trophy.

The Arizona State Academic Decathlon will take place on March 6 and 7 at Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Phoenix. 

CDO will be the top seeded team at the Phoenix meet, out of 40 teams. Mountain View is the fourth seed.

Other area teams invited to the state academic decathlon include Buena High School (Sierra Vista), Immaculate Heart, Sonoran Science Academy and Rincon and Sunnyside high schools.

During the academic decathlon, students take written exams on art history, economics, literature, mathematics, music, social science and science. They also write a timed essay, are interviewed by a panel of judges, and give prepared and impromptu speeches to a panel of judges.

The written exams are based on a central theme — this year’s being “Latin America with a focus on Mexico.”

Students participating in the academic decathlon are divided into three divisions based on their high school grade point average (GPA). “A” (or honor) students compete only with other “A” students; “B” (or scholastic) students compete only with other “B” students; and “C” (or varsity) students compete only with other “C” students. 

Each team has three students in each division.

Students on the winning CDO team include:

• Taylor Cleland, senior

• Marie Clymer, senior

• Benjamin Ferell, senior

• Jennifer Wendel, senior

• Dylan Ousley, senior

• Jordan Kurker-Mraz, junior

• Rush Moore, junior

• Danielle (Ellie) Strasser, junior

• Anna Hainsworth, sophomore

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