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Waukesha West finishes second at state academic decathlon meet again as Wilmot wins title

March 17, 2014

For 11 years, the Waukesha West Academic Decathlon team was state royalty.

No one could knock them off their perch as state champions.

But that has now changed.

New Berlin Eisenhower was the first when it took home the title last year, forcing West to settle for second place.

This year it was Wilmot Union's turn as it was crowned state champions at last week's state academic decathlon competition, which took place Thursday and Friday in Wisconsin Dells. 

Wilmot Union finished with 45,110.6 points and earned the state’s automatic bid to the national meet in Hawaii next month.

Waukesha West took second overall with 42,804.9 points. Watertown was third overall with 40,068.1 points. 

Entering the state competition, West students and coaches said they knew Wilmot would be the team’s biggest challenge. Wilmot finished just behind West in the overall team scores at the regional level in January.

As the state’s second-highest overall scoring team, West also qualified to compete at the national meet April 24-26 in Honolulu, Hawaii. However, West students indicated last week that if they didn’t finish first at state, they would likely not be going to nationals this year.

If that happens, it would be the first time in 13 years that West won't be at the national meet. 

During its reign at the top in the state standings, the West academic decathlon team was led by longtime teacher Duane Stein. He led the team to a national championship in 2002.

But since he retired from the district in 2011, the team has had three different coaches in the last three years.

Before West finished ninth at nationals last year, the team was in the top-four every year at nationals.

Centered on the curricular theme of World War I, students were tested in art, mathematics, music, language and literature, economics, science, social science, interview, essay and speech.

The two-day competition concluded with the Jeopardy-style Super Quiz Relay. Wilmot Union also won that event.

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