Best of luck to the Academic Decathlon teams from Nimitz and Irving, who will be competing at the state meet this weekend in San Antonio.

At regional competition in February, Nimitz won its 26th regional championship, edging Flower Mound Marcus and Hebron high schools for the top spot. Irving High School finished fourth to clinch a fifth consecutive state bid.

“They are academic champions in an academic setting, and I would like to think that what they did [at regionals] makes all of you very proud,” says Nimitz head coach Greg Jackson, whose team is ranked fourth in the state. “This is a story of hard work, and sacrifice, and perseverance, and most of all, it is a story of believing in yourself and in your teammates.  These kids take a full load of AP classes, and while they are certainly talented academically, they do not learn everything that they need to know for competition in the classroom. They spend countless hours studying the material at home. They are up here four days a week after school and every Saturday for at least 4 hours. They work on Martin Luther King Day and Presidents’ Day, and they will do it all because they have an incredibly strong will to win.”

“After a lot of hard work during the summer, fourth period, before school, after school, at Saturday practice sessions or competitions and out of 250 teams that competed statewide at various regional competitions – the Irving Tiger Academic Decathlon Team is currently the 15th ranked team in the entire state,” says Irving head coach James Newman. “This is our highest rank ever.”

As a team, Nimitz won 40 medals at the regional meet, led by Juan Gonzalez with nine medals and Alan Ta with eight. For the second consecutive year, Gonzalez was the meet’s top-scoring Varsity student in the region. Ta led all Nimitz scorers with 8,700 points and was the No. 3 Honor student in the meet. Fellow Honor student Melanie Chapman was the team’s second-highest scoring student, chipping in four medals. Jessica Aguilera contributed seven medals, and Karen Garcia won 6. Other Nimitz team members, all of whom contributed significantly to the victory, were Rodrigo Betancourt, Walter Herrera, Dayana Lopez and Ryan Truong

Irving’s Giancarlos Dominguez led all Scholastic students in the entire region, amassing 10 medals in total, including wins in math, music, economics, social studies, literature, science, art and interview. Levi Hensley, the team’s top Varsity student – and second-highest Varsity student in the region – earned five medals in his first year competing in Academic Decathlon. Fellow first-year competitor Madelyn Moore was the team’s top Honor student and also won a medal in social studies. The scholastic student earned two medals, while varsity student Jeremy Vasquez added another. Other integral members of the team are Christian Abrego, Angel Diaz, Victoria Gillespie and Aaron Rocha.

Congratulations! Way to represent Irving ISD! We wish you the best of luck this weekend!