By Staphany Hou

Over 500 students from across Orange County had participated in the OC Academic Decathlon two weeks ago, and on Tuesday night, nearly all of them, along with parents and coaches, filled the theater at Orange Coast College to receive their hard-earned awards.

Kristin Rigby, OC Department of Ed’s Project Manager, welcomed everyone to the ceremony, and after several short speeches, along with a photo montage of pictures from the 2013 competition, the part that everyone had anxiously been waiting for commenced. In each category, awards were presented from fifth through first place, with names and schools called out in order of division (one through three). Beginning of the essay category, the announcers began to rattle off name after name, often interrupted by bursts of applause and cheers. Following the essay category, came art, music, interview, language/literature, mathematics, science, economics, speech, and lastly, social science. The night concluded with Super Quiz Team Awards, separated by division. For the first time in its history, Troy High School took home the Super Quiz division 1 prize.

Overall individual award were then presented, with each GPA level being awarded first through tenth places. Starting at $100 from 6th through 10th place, scholarships went all the way up to $1200 for first place.

Finally, at the end of a long night, came the long-awaited overall team awards. The top four schools from division one would attend the state level competition in Sacramento in March, with travel stipends provided by OC Academic Decathlon. In fifth place for division 1 was Trabuco Hills HIgh School. Fourth was Woodbridge High School, third was Troy High School, second was Valencia High School, and Westminster High School took home this year’s division 1 title. Anaheim Union High took home the title for division 2, while Corona Del Mar High took home the title for division 3.

Congratulations to all competitors, and best of luck to Westminster, Valencia, Troy, and Woodbridge High Schools at State!