Just like any athlete, nine students at Marathon High School are a little nervous about competing in the big state tournament in Madison.
Michelle Gumtz is one of them.
“I’m excited, but I’m also very nervous because giving a speech makes me nervous, and writing an essay makes me nervous," she says.
Giving a speech? Writing an essay? Just what kind of state tournament is this?
It’s The State Academic Decathlon Tournament, one very long day filled with ten different events, from science exams to that nerve wracking speech category.
But their advisor, Brad Ness, says these kids are ready. They’ve been training since August.
“Preparation is fairly intense. We meet every day. Basically, these kids have agreed to give up a study hall.”
This isn’t the first year the Marathon High School Academic Team will be heading down to Madison. For the past 15 years, they’ve done very well at state, and this year, they’re the defending champions.
And if you thought this competition is only for students with straight As, think again. The nine-person teams are required to have three C-average students, three B-average students, and three A-average students.
The kids say everyone pulls their weight.
“Without certain people on the team, we wouldn’t have certain strong points because everybody has their weak and strong points,” says Chris Frey, one of the team’s seniors.
It looks like one of the strengths on this team is their teamwork.