West team places third at Academic Decathlon

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Cranston High School West’s Academic Decathlon took third-place overall honors during the statewide competition held Sunday at the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick.

“I’m really proud of them,” said Christine Luther-Morris, who has coached the school’s Academic Decathlon team for more than a decade. “They’re such a close unit, and so very supportive of each other, that there’s a great cohesiveness with the group. They genuinely care about each other, they look out for one another.”

Luther-Morris said preparations for this year’s competition began in September.

“You finish one year and you just about jump into the next year,” she said.

The majority of team members are seniors, and one of them, Stephen Lemme, took home nine individual medals. Seniors Allison Vang and Haley McCrystal won two and one individual medals, respectively, while alternates Rachael Perrotta and Nikolas Montaquila also won individual medals.

Luther-Morris said the team entered the Decathlon with hopes of placing in the top three of the Super Quiz competition. While they were “bummed” after failing to do so, their spirits rose when the overall tallies were announced.

“They were very happy to trade third in Super Quiz for third overall,” she said. “I think it really shows with them that it truly was a team effort … As a team, they were superlative.”

The team members included Logan Chin, Haley McCrystal, Noah Van Renselaar, Stephen Lemme, Cory Dottor, Inthavha Singharaj, Sebastiane Wall and Allison Vang. Alternates included Samah Alam, Sophia Chan, Pallavi Kasmani, Daniel Marella, Rachael Perrotta, Victoria Berman, Isabella Corso, Samuel Latzman and Nikolas Mantaquila.

Bishop Hendricken High School won top overall honors and will compete in the national contest in Minnesota next month.

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