Two Valley teams may leave foes smarting

first_imgAcademic teams from two San Fernando Valley high schools will be on opposite sides of the U.S. this week, competing in some of the nation’s toughest brain-bending tournaments. The Academic Decathlon team from El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills is in Honolulu, competing against more than 30 other high schools for the national title. El Camino won the national championship in 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2005, after successfully testing in every subject from art to science. El Camino coach Lissa Gregorio said the eight-member team has settled in a hotel suite for some last-minute studying, ignoring the lure of Waikiki Beach just steps away. “It’s such a beautiful location and it’s tempting to just go out to enjoy the locale,” Gregorio said in a phone interview. Team members are James Kim, 18, Anguel Alexiev, 17, John Chen, 18, Andrew David, 17, and Emily Law, 17. “This is my first experience doing this and they are really great students who work really hard,” coach Altair Maine said. [email protected] (818) 713-3664 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “But we have an amazing group of kids that are so well prepared, so regimented. They’ve worked since July to be here, so they don’t want to waste even 20 minutes. We want to make California proud.” California has won 13 of 25 national championships, with nine of those brought home by LAUSD teams. Last year, Taft High School of Woodland Hills won its third national championship. Taft also won in 1989 and 1994. This year’s team members are Venus Vakhshori, 17, Jennifer Yoo, 18, Shengya Cao, 17, Helen Durand, 17, Sam Farahmand, 16, Jiyoung Kim, 17, and Frank Soberanis, 17. Meanwhile, students from North Hollywood High School will head Thursday to Washington, D.C., where they will compete Sunday and Monday in the annual National Science Bowl, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The team won top place in a regional competition held in February as part of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Science Bowl. North Hollywood won the title in 2001 and placed second in the national competition last year. last_img