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El Portal Pentathletes Ready To Do Battle
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A team of eight El Portal Middle School sixth graders has been preparing for this weekend, and are ready to face off with fellow competitors in the annual San Joaquin County Academic Pentathlon.

“They seem really excited,” said sixth grade teacher Nabby Liel, one of the team’s two coaches. She is working in cooperation with Kayla Jefferson, also a sixth grade teacher at El Portal, to get the students ready for the pentathlon.

“They’ve been meeting since September,” Liel added. “They practice Tuesdays and Thursdays at lunchtime, they bring their lunch to the classroom and practice.”

The essay portion of the competition was given on Tuesday, April 9, to the local team members and they will head to Lathrop for the formal competition on Saturday, April 13.

All the pentathletes are girls, with the team including Jasmine Baliel, Lillian Brasil, Genevieve Casazza, Kali Castellanos, Isabella Podwinski Grant, Kaydence Hall Katelyn Kjellberg and Charlotte Shaddix.

The participants will do tests in five subject areas on Saturday, covering math, science, social studies, art and literature, then will compete together in the Super Quiz.

Liel said most of the pentathlon teams from the county feature seventh and eighth graders, so El Portal has its work cut out for it, but she said the girls are all friends and are excited to represent the school at the countywide event.

The Super Quiz is conducted in front of a live audience and is the last competitive event of the day for the 2019 San Joaquin County Academic Pentathlon.

The Super Quiz is scheduled from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Lathrop High School, Large Gymnasium, 647 Spartan Way, Lathrop and the theme is The Sixties.

The Academic Pentathlon is coordinated by the San Joaquin County Office of Education Student Events and is partially funded by the SJCOE Educational Foundation.

The Awards Ceremony will round out the day, starting at 2 p.m.