By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Escalon Decathletes Take Second
Placeholder Image
In a highly successful trip to the annual San Joaquin County Academic Decathlon, the Escalon High AcaDec team came home with multiple individual awards and a second place overall showing.

Coach George Megenney said he was extremely proud of all the competitors and both he and the students were thrilled with the outcome. They took second place overall in the county to Lodi and were also second in the Super Quiz competition.

"We did very well on Saturday," Megenney said. "I'd say we actually did better this year than last year overall."

The academic Cougars were champions in the Small Schools category and second overall as a team among all competing schools in the county, large and small.

The first weekend of competition, featuring the scoring team only, resulted in an Escalon sweep.

"The first half of our competition went exceedingly well. Our students brought home gold in all three of the categories that they were tested on," Megenney explained of the Jan. 31 competition. "William Dunbar, following in the footsteps of his older sister Maggie, brought home a gold medal in the speech category. Jennifer Masters took home two gold medals, one for the interview and one for her essay. Christina Wong brought home two silver medals, one for her speech and one for her interview."

According to Meredith Davis, the director of Academic Decathlon at the San Joaquin County Office of Education, no school has ever swept all three of these categories during the same year.

"I am lucky and honored to be working with such gifted students," added Megenney.

The second weekend allowed all AcaDec team members to compete and resulted in the presentation of multiple honors in the various categories. They included:

Art: 2nd place medals (tied) for Christian Clason and Humberto Diaz; 1st place medal for Christina Wong.

Math: 3rd place medals (tied) for Christian Clason and Daniel Beckwith; 1st place medal for Jennifer Masters.

Economics: 2nd place medals (tied) for Daniel Beckwith, Jennifer Masters and Christina Wong.

Music: 2nd place medal for Jennifer Masters; 1st place medal for Christina Wong.

Social Science: 3rd place medal for Humberto Diaz; 1st place medal for Christina Wong.

Language and Literature: 2nd place medal for Flor Acevedo; 1st place medal for Jennifer Masters.

Interview: 3rd place medal for Kelly Irons; 1st place medal (tied) Jennifer Masters and Christina Wong.

"Jennifer actually earned a perfect score in this category," Megenney noted.

Speech: 2nd place medals (tied) Jennifer Masters and Christina Wong; 1st place medals (tied) William Dunbar and Jessica Carranza.

Essay: 3rd place medal for Christian Clason; 1st place medal for Jennifer Masters.

Super Quiz: Varsity 1st place overall medal and $500 scholarship for Jennifer Masters; Honors 1st place overall medal to Christina Wong and $500 scholarship.

"We had the top decathlete in San Joaquin County in Christina Wong," Megenney said of the standout scholar.

She earned a $1000 scholarship for having the highest point total overall in the competition.

Team Awards included Super Quiz, 2nd place overall winner San Joaquin County; Team 2nd place Overall winner San Joaquin County and Team 1st place award, Small Schools division.

"William Dunbar had the honor of performing his speech at the Scottish Rite Auditorium for all the decathletes and parents at beginning of the awards ceremony since his was the top scoring speech in the county," Megenney said proudly. "Jennifer Masters had the same honor in the essay category."

In total, the Escalon decathletes captured 27 individual medals and the team took home three awards.

"I am delighted that our team did some fantastic work and that the kids were thrilled and excited about their various victories," Megenney said. "I am also very happy that kids that hadn't ever participated in the Academic Decathlon before this year did so and had a good experience doing so."

Megenney said the team entered the competition with high hopes and came close this year to taking top honors overall. He said that just made them eager to get back to work, with the goal of knocking off Lodi from the first place pedestal next year.

"I am, of course, already looking forward to next year's events and hoping that I can continue to serve as a good coach for EHS and draw students into the program who will benefit from participation," he said. "I am honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to have worked with such dedicated and hard-working students.

"They did a splendid job."