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LCWM AcaDec Team Headed to Alaska

LCWM Academic Decathlon Team Places Second in State and Earns Trip to Nationals in Anchorage, Alaska

By the narrowest of margins, the LCWM Academic Decathlon team placed second overall at the state competition held February 22-24 at Oak Ridge Conference Center in Chaska, MN. Team scores were:

Avalon Team 1 – 35,187.8 points

LCWM – 34,954.7 points

Avalon Team 2 – 30,173.9 points

St. Peter – 29,490.8 points

Nevis – 23,150.3 points

With LCWM placing second overall in the state, they will represent Minnesota at the national competition to be held April 29 – May 2 in Anchorage, Alaska, as the Division IV (Wild Card) team. This will be LCWM’s 15th appearance in a national Academic Decathlon competition. Past appearances include California in 1999, Alaska in 2001, Arizona in 2002, the medium school national online competition in 2008, the small school national online competition in 2010 and 2011, New Mexico in 2012, Minnesota in 2013, Hawaii in 2014, and the small school national online competition in 2015, 2016, and 2017, Texas in 2018, and Minnesota in 2019. At the national competition, students will take written tests in art, economics, literature, math, music, science, and social science, present a prepared and impromptu speech, participate in an interview, and write an essay. They will also take part in the Super Quiz Relay which challenges students to answer questions in a head-to-head quiz show format. This year’s curriculum theme is “In Sickness and in Health: An Exploration of Illness and Wellness”. LCWM students will be competing for national medals as well as scholarships.


Members of the LCWM team are:

Honors: Samuel Germscheid, Sophie Begnaud, and Kaitlyn Kirchner;

Scholastic: Jack Richards, Landon Lantz, and Gunner McLeod;

Varsity: Carter Swanson, Grace Truebenbach, and Logan Anderson.

Team coach is Billy James.

Team members earned 40 medals at the competition. Every team member earned at least 1 medal. Earning medals were:

* Samuel Germscheid (honors): third in math, third in music, and third in speech;

* Sophie Begnaud (honors): second in art, second in speech, second in interview, and third in essay;

* Kaitlyn Kirchner (honors): first in science and third in speech;

* Jack Richards (scholastic): third in social science, second in art, second in speech, third in interview, and third in essay;

* Landon Lantz (scholastic): first in math, second in social science, third in art, second in science, second in music, and third overall;

* Gunner McLeod (scholastic): second in literature, second in math, first in social science, first in art, first in science, first in music, third in economics, second in essay, and first overall;

* Carter Swanson (varsity): third in art, first in science, second in music, and third in essay;

* Grace Truebenbach (varsity): third in math, third in social science, second in science, third in music, second in economics, and first in interview;

* Logan Anderson (varsity): third in economics.

The team’s highest scoring students in each division were: Sophie Begnaud (honors) with 6,191.6 points, Gunner McLeod (scholastic) with 6,413.6 points, and Carter Swanson (varsity) with 5,172.3 points. Gunner McLeod had the highest medal count at 9 medals.

There were a total of 9 individual state championships earned by LCWM students. These students were Gunner McLeod (5), Kaitlyn Kirchner (1), Landon Lantz (1), Carter Swanson (1), and Grace Truebenbach (1).

Six students were selected by their judges from all of the state participants to present their speeches during the “Speech Showcase” event at the state banquet. LCWM had two students in the Speech Showcase. These students were Sophie Begnaud and Samuel Germscheid. Sophie’s speech topic was “Perceptions of a Young Girl” and Samuel’s speech topic was “Battle of the Generations”. This is the third consecutive year that these two students have been chosen for Speech Showcase.

The team wishes to thank parents, teachers, administrators, and the community for the continued support and interest in the program. Special recognition goes to all of the parents and family members that attended the state banquet in Chaska. Special thanks go to Sue Ehlers, Karissa Hall, Tom Farrell, Braden Wesley, and Alex Keilen for their help in preparing the students for competition.






Recognized at the Minnesota state Academic Decathlon banquet for their nearly 60 years of combined service to Minnesota Academic Decathlon and the United States Academic Decathlon were Billy James and Sue Ehlers.