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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Academic Decathlon team takes Division Two championship

Months of preparation and anxiety paid off for many diligent students at the Fresno County Academic Decathlon [Acadec] Award Ceremony on Feb. 5, held in Fresno State’s North Gym.

Among the big winners that night were Chris White and Anne Hierholzer, both ’05. They received recognition for placing first [Chris] and second [Anne] out of the entire Fresno County in the speech competition.

“It was nice to see all our hard work pay off,” Hierholzer said. “I especially enjoyed it because last year our team didn’t win anything. So, it was nice to finally win some awards.”

Although the excitement of the evening was overwhelming, apprehension was still a factor. The top three winners of the speech competition were required to restate their speeches during the awards ceremony.

“It was nerve racking giving my speech in front of hundreds of strangers,” White said. “But, it was fun getting a standing ovation once I’d finished.”

Among the campus students competing in the Academic Decathlon, Hierholzer came in first, followed by younger brother, Will Hierholzer, ’07, in second and Gary Darakjian, ’06, in third.

Each school fields one competition team of nine members who compete for awards. Overflow students are put onto a noncompetitive Team 2.

The campus Team 2 was made up of Darakjian and Brianna Stobbe, ’06, who both scored high enough to make them winners in numerous categories. Stobbe received the highest score overall in Interview for the team.

For the third time in campus history, the team won Division Two, triumphing over schools such as Clovis High and Buchanan.

“I’m very proud of them,” Molly Sargent, Academic Decathlon coach, said. “They were willing to take a risk and put out the effort that was needed, without any guarantee of success. I admire that.”

For more information on Academic Decathlon visit the following website

To view videos of the awards ceremony, visit and click on the Videos tab.

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