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Manteca, Ripon place high in academic decathlon

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POSTED February 10, 2009 4:21 a.m.
Ripon High was recognized as one of the top small schools at Saturday’s San Joaquin County Academic Decathlon held at the University of the Pacific and the Scottish Rite Auditorium.
The Manteca High team earned individual medals along with a team plaque for placing in the top three in the Super Quiz competition.
Manteca placed third. Lodi High, the top overall Academic Decathlon winner, and Escalon High took first and second, respectively.
These top three teams answered: “According to the article, ‘Introduction to Evolution Biology,’ which scientist developed the neutral theory and claimed that the majority of natural variation was transient polymorphisms of neutral athletes?”
The correct response was “Kimura.” The other choices were “Hennig,” ‘Lyell,” “Dobzhansky,” and “Fisher.”
Altogether, 13 county schools and two guest schools from Santa Clara County made up the 300 scholars competing in 10 different subject areas.
The top small schools were Escalon and Middle College placing first and second, respectively, and third-place Ripon, which also earned most improved team.
The top large schools were first-place Lodi followed in order by Tracy and Tokay.
On a local note, Steve Sonntag, a retired teacher and former coach for Manteca Unified, was inducted into the San Joaquin County Academic Decathlon Hall of Fame for his long history of volunteer work. He shared the honors with Richard Hanson, a retired employee from Lawrence Livermore Labs, and Lt. Tina Zakhary of the Stockton Police Department.
 Escalon High, meanwhile, produced the top essay winner (Jennifer Masters) and top speech winner (William Dunbar). The school finished second overall behind Lodi and ahead of Lodi Unified’s Middle College.
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