The Laramie High School Academic Decathlon Team will represent the state of Wyoming and head to their national competition at Bloomington, MN this Thursday.

Academic Decathlon is a competition for academics, separated into three different Grade Point Averages (GPA’s) and containing ten academic events that each person participates in.  Every year, these events are centered around a centralized theme. This year, the theme is the 1960’s.

“We compete in ten events, with seven subject tests, and we write an essay, do an interview, and we give two speeches,” LHS sophomore Harlie Kaligis said.  “We do a multiple-choice test for each of the seven subject tests. These seven subjects are literature, math, social science, economics, science, art, and music.  The other three subjects are essay, interview, and speech.”

The GPA categories are 3.75 and above for the top category, 3.0 to 3.75 for the middle category, and anything below 3.0 GPA for the bottom category.  The competition also asks for a specific number of people from each category.

“You have to have a minimum of two in each category,” Kaligis said.  “Three [people] could compete in each category. You could technically have alternates if you have more than enough people, but they wouldn’t be able to go to the national competition.“

The Laramie team is currently undergoing an intensive review process in preparation for the Nationals competition on Wednesday.  LHS English Teacher and Decathlon adviser, Nichol Bondurant has been aiding the team on the literature and the social science portions of the Decathlon.

For social science, literature, and even in the music, they [the Decathlon] like to go before the 1960’s,” Bondurant said.  “We spent the beginning of social science looking at FDR and the New Deal, because even though that that was in the 30’s, and that led to McCarthyism in the 50’s, all those events led up to the political system of the 60’s.  We’re also looking at things like the assassination of MLK Jr., Bobby Kennedy, and studying things like the Black Panther party, etc.”

Both Bondurant and Kaligis have felt that the team is making great progress towards the National Competition.

“I think that my team is some of the most motivated, kind-hearted, and intelligent group of people that I’ve gotten to work with,” Bondurant said.

The Decathlon team will leave for Bloomington, MN at 11:30 pm Wednesday night, and will return on Saturday.