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Virtual regional competition showcases youth scholars’ excellence

Three YUHSD Academic Decathlon teams reach state competition

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) – Following last year's victories, three Yuma Union High School District Academic Decathlon teams qualified once again for the state-level event after advancing through a virtual regional competition at Cibola High School (CHS). 

CHS finished second in Region III, tallying 31,479 points, while Gila Ridge High School (GRHS) placed fourth and Kofa High School (KHS) placed fifth, rounding out the top 5. Canyon Del Oro from Oro Valley finished first with a score of 44,187. It is the ninth year in a row CHS has advanced to state and the 24th time since 1994. They enter the 2021 finals, which take place March 12, ranked 18th overall in Arizona. 

“There have been several Cibola AcDec coaches, who over the last 30 years have created or maintained the foundation of the program,” expressed CHS Academic Decathlon Adviser Dan Zarbock. “But it also relies on recruiting students who have the drive, enthusiasm, and team spirit needed to be successful.  Every year each team has its own unique traits, yet they still have the same goal of representing Cibola at the city, regional, and state level.”

KHS was named the Most Improved Team in Region III, earning the largest increase in team points from last year to this year.

“Kofa had a great week and continues to build a program of success, getting better each year,” KHS Academic Decathlon Adviser Tom Duggan said. 

Here is a list of individual medalists from regionals: 


  • Honors Level: Zarrin Askari, Mathematics (Silver)
  • Raneem Abdella, Speech (Silver)*
  • Varsity Level: Joaquin Felix, Language Literature (Gold); Social Science
  • (Silver); Art (Bronze); Economics (Bronze)
  • Monserrat Quintero-Pacheco, Science (Gold)


  • Honors Level: David Zaragoza, Interview (Gold)*; Math (Bronze)
  • Lillian Mergan, Math (Bronze)
  • Scholastic Level: Kimberly Garcia, Interview (Silver)


  • Honors Level: Alberto De La Torre, Essay (Bronze) 
  • Scholastic Level: Nicole Pienta, Essay (Bronze)

*Also won trophy for overall highest score in their respective category across all Grade Point Average levels.

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