Top honors at decathlon for Moorpark High

MOORPARK Moorpark High's Decathlon team has won the 2008 U.S. Academic Decathlon for the third year since 1999.

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"We started work at the last week of August. Early on we stayed until 6 p.m. most nights of the week. Then once a week we would stay until 8 p.m," explained academic advisor Larry Jones. "By Christmas vacation, the kids were here almost everyday of the winter holiday."

On, parents have already posted the winning announcement. There was no indication of them winning during the award ceremony, so when the school's name was announced there was relief.

"It gets really boring studying the same stuff after awhile. The Civil War is only interesting the first three or four times that you read it. After that it is blah," says team member Colin Calle.

Since last August the team has put in more than 270 hours of group study, and it paid off.

"We all started out with a certain amount of determination for this. When we got into the setting with each other, we really pushed each other on it," said team member Justine Levan. "We made each other rise above what we would of been able to do alone."

"It was hard those first few months, but knowing what I was working towards it gave me the motivation to study and to actually try as hard as I did. It was all worth it," said Christa Ratkai.

The principal said that when the team asked for a particular class to use for preparation, he said they could use it if they would win the national title. There is no telling what the team will ask for next year.


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