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Wilmot Academic Decathlon team dominates at Whitewater Regional competition

Sweeping top individual honors, the Wilmot Academic Decathlon team won the 2023 Regional competition held Friday, Jan. 6, at the UW-Whitewater, advancing to State.

One of five simultaneous regionals held across the state, it marked the first time in nearly three years that the event returned to in-person competition.

“It was fun taking the show back out on the road, knowing the decathletes were receiving in-person judging on their speech and interview skills,” said coach Don Serkowski. “More exciting was receiving same-day feedback at the awards ceremony held afterwards and witnessing ribbons and trophies being physically handed to the hard working decathletes.

“Not only were they getting that recognition from the many Wisconsin Academic Decathlon volunteers, but also in front of their peers and family and friends who were also in attendance to watch,” he said.

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After individual ribbons were distributed for each of the 10 academic subject areas, the top overall scorers in each GPA category were announce and Wilmot decathletes swept the top three positions.

Wilmot senior Isaac Keen was the top scorer in the Honors category, and the top scorer of the entire competition. He has been the top scorer at the Whitewater Regional for three consecutive years, a first for any Wilmot decathlete.

Sophomore Charlie Fielder took the top spot in the Varsity category, improving from his freshman campaign. Senior Emilee Olenick, repeated her feat from last year by posting the highest overall score in the Scholastic category.

Each of the overall Wilmot scoring champions received a star-shaped trophy to commemorate their outstanding individual achievement. It’s only the third time in Wilmot history that three Wilmot students secured all three top spots at a Regional.

Due to a scoring snafu at the Whitewater Regtional, there were no specific individual scores available from the vent. At least one other regional site in Wisconsin also had the same scoring malfunction during the competition. Organizers hoped to forward scoring specifics from the comptition at a later time.

The Wilmot decathletes did, however, did collect 51 of the available 99 individual ribbons.

For the first time in school history, each of the Panther decathletes received at least two individual ribbons. Notably the team performed especially well on the Art and Music exams. Panther decathletes secured eight out of nine possible individual ribbons in each of those events.

This year’s competition theme was centered on the American Revolution.

All-Region Team

Seven of the 9 Wilmot decathletes earned all-region honors, also tying a school record.

Junior Daegan Fragale finished third overall in the Honors category joining Keen. Sophomore Evan Kerkman placed second overall in the Scholastic category behind Olenick. Wilmot swept the Varsity category with seniors Allison Streitmatter and Lorelei Glassmann placing second and third overall respectively after Fielder.

The Wilmot earned the right to be recognized as the Regional decathlon champions, and earned the automatic bid to compete in the state decathlon.

The state decathlon will be held in Green Bay for the first time on March 9-10.

“Our program can’t think of a better place for our school to hopefully win it’s tenth consecutive state title than in “Title Town U.S.A.” It would be quite the milestone to hold the top position for an entire decade,” said. Serkowdki. “There were several years during the streak when we weren’t the favorite to win, including last year. It was the biggest deficit we’ve ever overcome, ranked third going in to the state competition. That scrappy team, and obviously all the others before it, made this amazing accomplishment a possibility.”

At that state decathlon, Keen looks to become the school’s, and Wisconsin’s, first back-to-back overall top scorer since Wilmot’s Carl Simmons achieved the feat seven years ago.

“He’s absolutely crushing it! I can’t relate how much his consistency to excellence means to his teammates,” Serkowdki said. “Isaac is a special young man with limitless potential. I’m so happy for him to finally have the opportunity to walk across the stage at state and publicly receive the incredible accolades to which he has dedicated these past three years.”

Wilmot scored over 7,000 points higher than the second place team from Burlington High School, which had moved up the ranks by topping the decathletes from Watertown at the eight-team event.

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A finance expert explains why President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program got blocked — and what’s next for student loan borrowers in search of relief.

The tragedy of sudden infant death syndrome: A pediatrician explains how to protect your baby

Babies should never sleep on couches, sofas, stuffed armchairs or an incline. Co-sleeping is a bad idea, too.

What's a polycule? An expert on polyamory explains

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, his on-and-off girlfriend and others involved in the failed company were reportedly in a polycule together.

Even weak tropical cyclones have grown more intense worldwide

Research shows storms that might have caused minimal damage a few decades ago are becoming stronger and more destructive as the planet warms.

'Y'all,' that most Southern of Southernisms, is going mainstream – and it's about time

The use of “y’all” has often been seen as vulgar, low-class and uncultured. That’s starting to change.

How parents can play a key role in prevention, treatment of teen mental health problems

Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. teenagers battle depression. Here’s how parents can help.

Fatherhood changes men's brains, according to before-and-after MRI scans

Researchers know pregnant moms’ brains change in ways that seem to help with caring for a baby. Now they’ve ID’d changes in new dads’ brains too.

Shorter days affect the mood of millions of Americans. A nutritional neuroscientist offers tips on how to avoid the winter blues

Along with low mood, symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include anxious feelings, low self-esteem, longer sleep duration, constant craving for carbohydrates and low physical activity levels.

How to deal with holiday stress, Danish-style

How can you best find a balance during the holidays so that you are fulfilled instead of frazzled? Perhaps you should take a few cultural cues from the Danes.

The 4 biggest gift-giving mistakes, according to a consumer psychologist

Finding good gifts can be tricky. Here are some research-backed tips to help you with your holiday shopping.

Christmas trees can stay fresh for weeks – a well-timed cut and consistent watering are key

From picking the tree to getting it home to setting it up, the choices you make can help it stay fresher — and safer — longer.

Toilets spew invisible aerosol plumes with every flush: Here's the proof

Toilets eject aerosol droplets that may carry disease-causing pathogens. Learning how the particles move could help cut exposure in public restrooms.

White teachers often talk about Black students in racially coded ways, research finds

Though difficult to pinpoint, white educators often put forth stereotypes when they discuss Black students among themselves, research found.

Why mourning a pet can be harder than grieving for a person

The death of a pet can be a deeply painful experience. But acknowledging the way pet grief is different can help people find consolation.

Communities around the US are voicing a common anxiety: Are Americans losing their accents?

There are reports of people pronouncing the letter “r” in Boston. Down in Tennessee, people are noticing a lack of a Southern drawl. But is it really possible to lose one’s accent?

A hearing specialist offers tips to turn down that annoying ringing, buzzing and hissing in your ear

Although there’s no cure for tinnitus, help is out there – including sound-generating devices, background noise and talk therapy.

Social media always remembers – which makes moving on from a breakup that much harder

There was once a time when you could simply put old photos and love letters out of sight and out of mind. Editing your ex out of your digital life is a lot trickier.

Social media always remembers – which makes moving on from a breakup that much harder

There was once a time when you could simply put old photos and love letters out of sight and out of mind. Editing your ex out of your digital life is a lot trickier.

A hearing specialist offers tips to turn down that annoying ringing, buzzing and hissing in your ear

Although there’s no cure for tinnitus, help is out there – including sound-generating devices, background noise and talk therapy.

Why mourning a pet can be harder than grieving for a person

The death of a pet can be a deeply painful experience. But acknowledging the way pet grief is different can help people find consolation.

Communities around the US are voicing a common anxiety: Are Americans losing their accents?

There are reports of people pronouncing the letter “r” in Boston. Down in Tennessee, people are noticing a lack of a Southern drawl. But is it really possible to lose one’s accent?

White teachers often talk about Black students in racially coded ways, research finds

Though difficult to pinpoint, white educators often put forth stereotypes when they discuss Black students among themselves, research found.

Arctic Report Card 2022: The Arctic is getting rainier, and seasons are shifting

The annual Arctic Report Card is a reminder that what happens in the Arctic affects the rest of the world.

As viral infections skyrocket, masks are still a tried-and-true way to help keep yourself and others safe

Decades of research show that respiratory illnesses are dramatically reduced when people wear face masks.

What social media regulation could look like: Think of pipelines, not utilities

The U.S. government regulates many industries, but social media companies don’t neatly fit existing regulatory templates. Systems that deliver energy may be the closest analog.

Over the holidays, try talking to your relatives like an anthropologist

How is it possible to spend so much time with your parents and grandparents and not really know them? If you skirt the small talk and dig a little deeper, you’ll be surprised at what you might learn.

People can have food allergies without noticeable symptoms

Long-term consumption of food allergens may lead to behavioral and mood changes, including depression, anxiety and ADHD.

What causes stuttering? A speech pathologist explains the science and misconceptions around this speech disorder

Your attitudes toward people who stutter may depend partly on what you think causes stuttering.

People can have food allergies without noticeable symptoms

Long-term consumption of food allergens may lead to behavioral and mood changes, including depression, anxiety and ADHD.

Over the holidays, try talking to your relatives like an anthropologist

How is it possible to spend so much time with your parents and grandparents and not really know them? If you skirt the small talk and dig a little deeper, you’ll be surprised at what you might learn.

What social media regulation could look like: Think of pipelines, not utilities

The U.S. government regulates many industries, but social media companies don’t neatly fit existing regulatory templates. Systems that deliver energy may be the closest analog.

As viral infections skyrocket, masks are still a tried-and-true way to help keep yourself and others safe

Decades of research show that respiratory illnesses are dramatically reduced when people wear face masks.

Arctic Report Card 2022: The Arctic is getting rainier, and seasons are shifting

The annual Arctic Report Card is a reminder that what happens in the Arctic affects the rest of the world.

Holiday foods can be toxic to pets: A vet explains what to do if your pet eats them

Keeping human foods away from pets is one way to avoid emergency veterinary hospital runs during the holidays.

Why the winter solstice matters and is worth celebrating

The dead of winter, when the longest night of the year takes place, is also a time of renewal. Here’s why the winter solstice is worth celebrating.

Twitter in 2022: 5 essential reads about the consequences of Elon Musk's takeover of the microblogging platform

The intersection of content management, misinformation, aggregated data about human behavior and crowdsourcing shows how fragile Twitter is and what would be lost with the platform’s demise.

2022's US climate disasters: A tale of too much rain — and too little

2022 will be remembered in the U.S. for devastating flooding and storms — and extreme heat waves and droughts. Here’s what it all means.

Reindeer eyes change color, putting Rudolph's red nose in the shade

In winter, light in the northern latitudes is dim and very blue compared to summer light. Reindeer eyes have evolved to be better suited for this.

LGBTQ Americans are 9 times more likely to be victimized by a hate crime

For the first time, researchers have been able to produce estimates of the rate of hate crimes against LGBTQ people.

Pets can get colds too — here’s how to keep them safe

There are many things you can do to help your pets when they’re sick.

Pets can get colds too — here’s how to keep them safe

There are many things you can do to help your pets when they’re sick.

LGBTQ Americans are 9 times more likely to be victimized by a hate crime

For the first time, researchers have been able to produce estimates of the rate of hate crimes against LGBTQ people.

Reindeer eyes change color, putting Rudolph's red nose in the shade

In winter, light in the northern latitudes is dim and very blue compared to summer light. Reindeer eyes have evolved to be better suited for this.

2022's US climate disasters: A tale of too much rain — and too little

2022 will be remembered in the U.S. for devastating flooding and storms — and extreme heat waves and droughts. Here’s what it all means.

Twitter in 2022: 5 essential reads about the consequences of Elon Musk's takeover of the microblogging platform

The intersection of content management, misinformation, aggregated data about human behavior and crowdsourcing shows how fragile Twitter is and what would be lost with the platform’s demise.

Better sleep for kids starts with better sleep for parents — especially after holidays

When sleep routines go haywire, here are the things to keep in mind to help the whole family reset.

What to know about heart rate variability — the biometric most fitness trackers measure

Tiny fluctuations in the time between each beat of your heart can provide clues about how much stress your body is experiencing.

Why you should give the gift of mindfulness this New Year

Mindfulness can teach us to be more present — not just for ourselves, but also for our colleagues, friends and loved ones.

Americans are taking more control over their work lives – because they have to

“Career portfolioing” is a trend where people assemble different sources of income, such as side gigs, to give them a measure of independence from employers who provide little job security.

Americans are taking more control over their work lives – because they have to

“Career portfolioing” is a trend where people assemble different sources of income, such as side gigs, to give them a measure of independence from employers who provide little job security.

Why you should give the gift of mindfulness this New Year

Mindfulness can teach us to be more present — not just for ourselves, but also for our colleagues, friends and loved ones.

Better sleep for kids starts with better sleep for parents — especially after holidays

When sleep routines go haywire, here are the things to keep in mind to help the whole family reset.

What to know about heart rate variability — the biometric most fitness trackers measure

Tiny fluctuations in the time between each beat of your heart can provide clues about how much stress your body is experiencing.

How to unlock your creativity – even if you see yourself as a conventional thinker

Do you think that creativity is an innate gift? Think again. New research highlights how anyone can train their creative muscles by rethinking the anxiety, frustration and anger they encounter in daily life.

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