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The Highland Park High School Academic Decathlon team competed in the state competition recently in San Antonio with exciting results. The group finished in second place and tied the 2012 team for best in HPHS history.

Senior Jean Luc Vorster was named Overall Scholastic Champion, the first HP decathlete to achieve that title. Junior Xavier Anani placed fourth overall in the Varsity Division, and senior Jaclyn Zhou was dubbed sixth overall in the Honors division.

For individual subjects, five HP students earned state champion titles. Those include senior Margaret Wright in Language/Literature, Xavier Anani in Social Sciences, senior Sam Crofford in the music category, and all-around winner Jean Luc Vorster in both Music and Language/Literature.

Strong performances were also seen from senior captain Ellie Reynolds (bronze medals in Math and Interview), junior Charles Harper (fourth place in Science), senior Diana Wigginton (silver medal in Math), and junior Andriy Grygorenko (Bronze medal in Math and Music). Junior William Lake rounded out the squad and helped prepare the team for competition.

Jean Luc also broke the HP individual total record, previously held by Thomas Mylott, by scoring 8,423 points  out of a possible 10,000 at the competition. He edged out his close friend by only one point, ending a friendly rivalry that saw University of Texas freshman Mylott cheering on Jean Luc and the rest of the team at the Super Quiz Relay, which took place on the campus of San Antonio College.

The AcaDeca team was coached by the team of Tom Pollock and Greg Bergeron, pictured in the photo below, and also by Becky Weber.

Information and photo courtesy of Maureen Reynolds

Angela is an Aggie grad, thrilled to be working for BubbleLife covering the Park Cities, Preston Hollow, Lake Highlands and several other neighborhoods in the area. When she's not writing and reporting for BubbleLife, she contributes to,, drinks lots of coffee, reads, and goes to concerts in Dallas. Angela has worked for CBS alum and legendary newsman Dan Rather, lived and worked in New York City, Austin, and Dallas, all before the age of 22. - Contact Angela at  
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