Granada Hills Charter High School won the state Academic Decathlon championship in Sacramento today, the sixth time that the San Fernando Valley school has captured that crown in seven years.
The school scored 55,211 out of a possible 60,000 points. The nine-member squad will head to the national championships next month in Madison, Wisconsin.
The Granada Hills squad mastered this year's theme, World War II, and beat teams from across California during an intensive three-day competition, said school spokeswoman Marilyn Koziatek.
Top news of the day
Another Valley school, El Camino Real Charter High, placed second, and will advance to the national online championships.
Franklin High School was third, and Marshall High School was fourth in the statewide competition, as Los Angeles schools took all four top spots.
The contest is designed so students of varying academic success must be on the teams: kids with honor grade point averages above 3.75, kids with averages between 3 and 3.75, and students with GPAs below 2.99.
The highest-scoring scholars in all three grade categories this year were all Granada Hills kids: Melissa Santos in the top "honors" category, Mark Aguila in the middle "scholastic" category, and Sabrina Carlos in the "varsity" category.
Other Granada Hills team members are Jordan Barretto, Sebastian Gonzalez, Christopher Lo, Kevin Ly, Aishah Mahmud and Peter Shin, with alternates Justin Chiang, Dilawar Khan and Sarah Thraen.
The coaches are Harsimar Dhanoa, Rachael Phipps and Jon Sturtevant. Granada Hills has won the state decathlon every year since 2011, except 2014.
The school is ranked the number one charter school in the state and the number four most-diverse campus in California by niche.com, according to the campus spokeswoman. It is fiscally independent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The state championship team was scheduled to arrive from Sacramento at 6:50 p.m. tonight at Hollywood-Burbank Airport.