Team Baja Dominates Academic Decathalon

Sharese Mirzakhanyan

With only 60 seconds to put five presidents – John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson – in proper order, Team Baja succeeded and won first place.

They won the grand prize of $500 along with a trophy and medals for each teammate. 12 teams competed at the third annual Academic Decathlon on May 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Verdugo Gym, coordinated by the Associated Students.

Glendale is the only community college in the nation to hold an academic decathlon. The college hopes to continue the tradition for years to come.

The teams registered to participate were: Blood Diamonds, the Conservative Club, Debate, Flip Status, Honors Biology Club, Scholars Program, Speech, Team Baja, The Dog Pound, Voces del Manana, Wronskians, and Getting Pumped. The Blood Diamonds did not show up.

The two teams with the highest score from each round advanced to the final round. The teams had a variety of categories to choose from with each question worth 100 points. If a team answered a question incorrectly, it cost them 50 points.

Topics for the questions consisted of English, psychology, chemistry, biology, physics, political science and art history.

The decathlon began with the first five groups: Conservative Club, Flip Status, Honors Biology Club, Speech, and the Dog Pound. The Dog Pound won the first round with 400 points followed by the Conservative Club with 150 points.

The second round consisted of the Debate team, Team Scholars, Team Baja, Voces, Wronskians, and Getting Pumped. The
Wronskians finished with 650 points and Team Baja with 300 points sending both to the final round.

“I’m very disappointed that we lost, however three other members who are in scholars have qualified into the next round, for this I am very grateful,” said Jackie Felix, 20, global studies major, a Team Scholars member.

The pressure mounted during the final round where the four finalists – Conservative Club, Dog Pound, Team Baja, and the Wronskians came together to compete for the top honors.

It was neck-in-neck up to the last question where the Wronskians made a quick come back and tied with Team Baja and the Dog Pound with 400 points.

Team Baja, Wronskians, and the Dog Pound then moved into a tie-breaker round. All three teams got the right answer so the organizers got together to come up with another tie-breaker.

Wronskians came in second, followed by the Dog Pound.

“It was a very interesting competition and you were never sure who was going to win. I’m actually happy that Team Baja won,” said Ruzana Saahakyan, 18, business economics major.

The winners of the 2008 Academic Decathlon from Team Baja are Maral Hovasapian, 19, psychology major, Ailin Pedrosian, 18, English major, Armig Khodaian, 18, English major, Nolan Ku, 18, business and economics major, and Jake Spruill, 18, biology major.

“When we first put the team together we didn’t think we would actually win, but it’s such a great feeling,” Pedrosian said.
For more information on the Academic Decathlon contact ASGCC vice president of administration, Edytte Arakelyan, at [email protected] or call 818-240-1000 ext. 5601.