ACADEMIC DECATHLON TEAM WINS 17TH PLACE
By Jane Hill
Three Tupelo High School students competing in the National Academic Decathalon competition won medals for their knowledge in certain subjects as the event wrapped up Sunday, according to Lynn McAlpin, the Tupelo High School teacher who has coached the team with Bonnie Webb.
Tupelo’s nine-student team, which was representing the state of Mississippi, placed second in the region behind the team from Oklahoma. Overall the Mississippi team placed 17th out of the 45 states and 350 students competing in Atlanta this weekend, McAlpin said.
McAlpin said the competition was extremely close this year, noting that the Mississippi team was only 250 points, or the equivalent of 12 questions, behind the team that won the 10th place spot.
Texas’ academic decathalon team won first place in this year’s competition with a total of 47,500 points won for the highest number of correctly answered questions, she said. Tupelo’s team finished with an overall score of 42,000 points.
Medal winners for Tupelo’s team were Sarah Robinson, a junior who won a gold medal in the Speech category; Aimee Hollingsworth, a senior who won a silver medal in the Interview category; and Adam Lubin, a junior who won silver medal in the Economics category and a bronze medal in the Language and Literature category.
The overall high scorer in the group was THS senior Brandon Ashcrft, who successfully answered the most questions of the students on his team, McAlpin said.
Tupelo’s 1996 academic decathalon team also includes seniors Michael Knight, Jana E. Kellums, Bryant Hill Annie Robinson and junior David Lawson. The team brought home Tupelo’s 11th consecutive state championship in February and so qualified to go on to the national competition.
The Academic Decathalon tests the student’s knowledge in nine subject areas in a game show style setting, though students also must submit to individual interviews and written examinations to test their knowledge. McAlpin and Webb said the students were planning to rest their minds Sunday afternoon with some recreation time at Six Flags and a laser show at Stone Mountain, provided the weather holds. The team is scheduled to return to Tupelo High School at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, she said.