“C” Students Bloom

Radian Hong, Introduction to Journalism Reporter

After competing at State for the second time in a row in March, the Rocklin High School Academic Decathlon team shared what makes Decathlon the unique activity it is; an activity in which students of all stripes can compete and succeed.

Academic Decathlon is a nationwide competition in which students compete in ten events ranging from mathematics to interview for individual and team medals. This year’s topic was “Water: A Most Essential Resource.”

“One of the unique features about Decathlon is that it’s for students of all grade ability levels,” said Michael Knight, the team coach.

“There’s the Honors, which is kinda like your A students, there’s the Scholastic, which is your B low A students. And there’s also Varsity, which is kinda like your C students. And so your team has to be one-third of each of those categories. You can’t just have all your 4.0, 5.0 students. You’ve gotta go and recruit in those other levels too. And it also gives them that they’re competing at their own level. So C students are competing with C students and they can be very successful.”

When it comes to ability, “A students are kind of all about similar. And so it’s the C students that put in the time and kind of rise to the occasion that help you win.” For these students, “a lot of times it can build their confidence and make them do better in school as well.”

The team went on to medal at the virtual state championships after taking first place at county.

“I was actually very excited with how we did as a team and the fact that we had three people medal at state this year,” said senior Scholastic decathlete Ryan Renger. “This team is the best one in Rocklin history. The fact that we’ve done state now back-to-back two years in a row where we never made state in the entire history of Rocklin Academic Decathlon is kind of cool.”
More than just medals, Decathlon provides its members with exposure to a variety of different subjects. “You’re gonna learn things that you’re probably not gonna learn in school,” Mr. Knight said. “There might be things, the different topics in social studies and stuff, that you might not get until you get college if you went into those areas.” Moreover, “It looks good on your resume and application for colleges.”

Sanjay Sivakumar, a freshman on the team, said, “I feel like it’s definitely improved my work ethic. I’ve been willing to work really hard and spend a couple of hours reading. And I haven’t really read seriously in a long time.”

“It was a great experience for me the three years I spent with the Decathlon team,” reflected Renger. This was his last competition as a graduating senior. “We had a really good team throughout all my years I got to bond with and have some fun with winning medals and just winning competitions.”