Hendricken’s Academic Decathlon Team Takes 1st Place in Nationals!

Bishop Hendricken High School’s Academic Decathlon Team won its 7th consecutive RI state championship in March earning them a trip to Madison, Wisconsin to represent the state in the United States Academic Decathlon (USAD) 36th National Competition.  The team, coached by Sister Carol Ann Murray, made history on this past Saturday, April 22nd placing 1st in Division II (schools with fewer than 1,500 students)!!

Last year, Bishop Hendricken became the first team from Rhode Island to break into the top three with a 2nd place finish.  Not to be outdone, the 2017 team becomes the only Rhode Island team with a 1st place finish since the USAD began the national competition in 1982. Bishop Hendricken received an overall score of 43,612.5 and nearly doubled last year’s medal count from 16 to 31. The team received 12 gold, 8 silver, and 11 bronze medals.


The team had been meeting to practice twice a week for 2 hours a day since the summer.  Sister Carol Ann also expects them to study on their own for 45 minutes a day.  The students compare it to taking another AP class.  After 25 years as Hendricken’s Academic Decathlon coach, Sister Carol Ann is elated with this year’s results.  “The days before the competition in Wisconsin were packed with concentrated team-driven study.  When it became apparent that they had a shot of placing, winning became the only option.  I’m extremely proud of this team and it has been a pleasure to have been their coach, “ said Sister.  Fiercely competitive, she pulled one more ace out of her pocket when it appeared another team may come in first; she prayed.

The Hendricken 9-man team of Mitchell Boyer, Ryan Brady, Darragh Harkin, Steven Huang, Jaidan Idarraga, Connor Milson, Cory Morris, Alden Pratt and Dylan Temel competed in ten different events: Speech, Interview, Essay, and “Tests of Knowledge” in Art, Music, Social Science, Science, Economics, Language and Literature, and Mathematics all centered around this year’s theme: World War II.  This portion gives competitors the chance to win medals in every subject; a chance, even in a team sport, to demonstrate individual excellence. Additionally, Hendricken also earned a 2nd place finish in the Super Quiz™, an event where teammates take turns solving tough multiple choice challenges in front of a live audience before time runs out.

The following Hendricken decathletes won 31 individual medals during the competition:

Individual Medal Winners:

A Division (Honors)

Steven Huang (7)
Gold: Music, Math, and Science
Silver: Economics, Speech, and Essay
Bronze: Art

Dylan Temel (7)
Gold: Economics and Speech
Silver: Art
Bronze: Music, Math, Science, and Social Science

B Division (Scholastic)

Mitchell Boyer (3)
Gold: Essay
Silver: Speech and Science

Connor Milson (1)
Bronze: Language and Literature

Alden Pratt (3)
Bronze: Essay, Science, and Speech

C Division (Varsity)

Ryan Brady (8)
Gold: Economics, Music, Language and Literature, Science, and Social Science
Silver: Art and Speech
Bronze: Essay

Darragh Harkin (1)
Gold: Interview

Jaidan Idarraga (1)
Bronze: Math

Five students also placed individually with Huang and Brady being the highest scorers in their overall division:

A division – Steven Huang (first), Dylan Temel (Second)

B division – Mitchell Boyer (second), Alden Pratt (third)

C division – Ryan Brady (first)

Decathlon team member Dylan Temel spoke for the group adding, “We are very proud of the team’s performance, and very happy that all the hard work we put in over the course of this past year paid off. We certainly were surprised by the result, but we’re looking forward to performing even better next year and are already anxious to begin anew with next year’s topic: Africa.”

To read more of the news coverage about the national championship from the Warwick Beacon, “Top in USA,” please click here.