McDowell ASL Team Headed to Nationals - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

McDowell ASL Team Headed to Nationals

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McDowell's Academic Sports League team will compete at the U-S Academic Decathlon for the first time in history.  They qualified for national competition by placing second this year at the state competition.  Typically only one team represents each state, but this year, with only thirty-five states competing, the U-S Academic Decathlon took an additional top fifteen scoring teams.

It was exciting news for McDowell, which has always had teams in contention but was not in second place until the state round of competition.  McDowell's team vaulted ahead at states beating the teams from Moniteau and NW PA Collegiate Academy.

One factor fueling the McDowell win was the impressive performance of junior Katie Ryan. It's only her second year in ASL, but she earned the highest overall score in Pennsylvania in the top honors division.

The theme of the competition this year is Russia and team members say they are working hard studying packets of information on Russian history, art, literature, economics and music.  What will it take to be ready?  Senior and team captain Kirsten Lazar said, "Studying, a lot of studying and the biggest commitment for ASL is time, putting your time into it and we all really want a national medal, that's probably the biggest that any of us could get right now, so we know we're going to do it."

High scorer Katie Ryan said, "Some of the teams from California and Texas, it started in California, ASL did and so their scores are insane, we'll have to watch out for all of them and North Penn of course is another big competitor, so we just have to try and keep improving every score we can and hopefully do well at nationals."

In the last ten years, McDowell ASL Coach Dan Andrzejczak says he's had some hard working teams, but this year the team has the exceptional ability of coming together and working for each other.  The U-S Academic Decathlon is April 25 - 27 in Minneapolis.

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