Heavy metal is music to Decathlon competitors

Posted 3/9/23

There was a lot of heavy metal at Bryant University Sunday at the 40th annual Rhode Island Academic Decathlon. It was the kind of music high school students love.

This was not ear drum splitting …

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Heavy metal is music to Decathlon competitors


There was a lot of heavy metal at Bryant University Sunday at the 40th annual Rhode Island Academic Decathlon. It was the kind of music high school students love.

This was not ear drum splitting music. In fact, it took concentration to hear the ting of metal hitting metal.

That was the harmony of gold, silver and bronze medals as they bounced from around the necks of scores of students.

“We’ve got a lot of ties, hopefully we’ve got the medals,” Decathlon executive director Frank Lenox said as the awards ceremony of the day-long program started shortly after 6 p.m.  As a precaution to such situations, the RI Academic Decathlon that conducted its first statewide competition in December 1983 at the Knight Campus of CCRI, had ordered a large quantity of undated medals.  The reserve was nearly depleted as the evening reached the climax of the announcement of the top ten schools.

The East Greenwich team took the honors and will go on to compete in the United States Academic Decathlon to be held April 27-29 in Frisco, Texas with a team score of more than 30,000 points. The top scoring teams were all within 6,500 points of East Greenwich, making for a hard fought competition said Lenox. South Kingstown came in second followed by Cranston West. Toll Gate edged out Pilgrim 78 points for fourth and Bishop Hendricken placed sixth.

In the closing event of the competition, the Super Quiz held before an audience of cheering students and parents, South Kingstown High placed first followed by Hendricken that took home the second place plaque and the Johnston team that placed third.

Students compete in ten subject areas, hence decathlon, that range from math and essay to speech and interview.  Students are also in divisions based on their grade point averages thereby enabling team members to win individual medals within their division while contributing to the overall team score.

Prepared and impromptu speeches are often the most nerve racking components of the competition for students.

It has become a tradition for one of the gold medalists in the three divisions to deliver their speech at the awards ceremony. Toll Gate’s Ahmainy Garcia, a soft-spoken young woman with poise, held the audience’s attention as she talked about the importance of things remembered.

Students winning metals from the coverage areas of Beacon Communications publications and their schools are as follows: From Cranston West High School, Sophie Appel won a gold medal in Speech. Olivia Tedeschi-Man won gold in Essay and bronze in Literature. Liam Rafferty won bronze in Essay and sliver in Literature.  Henry Cheng won in Social Science and gold in Economics.  Olivia Clark won bronze in Social Science and silver in Art.  Ethan White won a silver medal in Economics. Dylan Kumes won a bronze medal in Literature and Ryan Sharma won a silver medal in  Music. 

From Bishop Hendricken High School, Aidan Weiss won gold in Essay, silver in Literature, silver in Music and silver in Art.  Julian Burke won a bronze medal in Social Science.  Richard Vigliotti won gold in Science, silver in Music and silver in Math. 

From Johnston High School, Caroline Pesenecker won a bronze in Economics and Isabella Ribezo won a silver medal in Art.  

From Pilgrim High School, Jordan Garcia won silver in Math and bronze in Music. Sean Hoyle won silver in Speech, silver in Literature and gold in Math.  Elizabeth Cavanaugh won a silver in Essay.  Noah Ramsey won bronze in Essay. Liam Holmes, a bronze medal in Social Science. Christopher Cook took home bronze in Music.  Noah Ramsey, a gold in interview and Griffin Taylor a bronze in essay.

From Toll Gate High School, McKenzie Anderson won a bronze in Speech and a bronze in Economics.  Jaylene Le won bronze in Speech, gold in Literature and a bronze in Art. Ahmainy Garcia won gold in Speech.  Daemon Rigollet won a bronze in Music.  Cooper Payne won a gold in Math.

academics, decathlon


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