GRANADA HILLS (CBSLA.com) — In the end, it was the team from Granada Hills Charter High that stood above the rest in the state’s annual academic decathlon competition.
If you’re getting a little deja vu reading this, it’s no accident. A team representing that school has won the top prize six times in the past seven years.
The team arrived at Burbank Airport, around 7 p.m. Sunday, on a flight from Sacramento.
Eleven different LAUSD schools high competed in the decathlon state championship.
Students are tested in their knowledge of subjects in a single theme including art, music math, science, speech and science, among others.
KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo said the team is beaming with pride.
At the airport, from the terminal to the baggage claim area, the team basked in cheers, applause and congratulations.
The team Fajardo reported, no doubt set off metal detectors.
“I’m overwhelmed with pride,” said team member Melissa Santos, “this team has worked for so hard and so long.”
Next up: The team heads to Wisconsin for the nationals.
“It’s mentally taxing,” said coach Harsimar Dahnal, “the kids spend their entire winter break going from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. I think they only has two days off the entirety of their break.”
They won’t get much of a break this time either. The nationals are in a couple of weeks.
In a few days, when the state adulation wears off, it will be back to work and cramming.
“There’s just a lot of stress,” said one team member, “Sometimes I just feel really tired and I want to lay down and sleep. But it’s something I know I have to push through.”
It’s not just Grenada’s legacy that’s on the line. California schools have won the national crown the last 14 years.
Grenada Hills plans to make it 15.
But first? “Some sleep,” said one team member.