Academic Decathlon: It's Oakdale

One more year, one more Oakdale High victory at the Stanislaus Academic Decathlon.

The Mustangs won their eighth-straight Stanislaus County title Saturday at Enochs High School. Waterford finished second and Modesto third.

Their performance highlighted a day of competition throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley and the foothills.

Oakdale's Christopher Gebhart was the top overall individual in the Honors Division (3.75 and above GPA). Oakdale's Evan Boggs won the Scholastic Division and Brett Bailey of Beyer the Varsity Division.

Oakdale was the Super Quiz winner and Waterford the small-school champ.

In Stockton, Escalon, backed by a stellar effort by the overall top individual Matt Heflin, finished third in the team competition behind winner Lodi and runner-up Middle College of Stockton.

Heflin, last year's top overall winner, said, "I was only thinking about maybe winning second place. But I was hoping."

Competing in the Honors Division, he won nine medals and edged out runner-up and fellow Escalon classmate, Christina Wong.

Led by first-year coach George Megenney, the Cougars won the award for most-improved team,

"I'm just flabbergasted," he said. "We'll be back next year and will do even better."

Escalon's Jennifer Masters won the title in the Scholastic Division (3.0-3.74 GPA).

The school won a $4,000 grant from the Cortopassi Family Foundation.

Manteca's East Union finished fifth behind Bear Creek.

In Merced, Atwater sent the only coach the school has had, Jacolyn Girolamo, out with a win. She is retiring as coach after 27 years of guiding the Falcons.

Merced was second and Gustine third.

Golden Valley's Dylan Kenney had the highest individual score.

Summerville won the Calaveras/Tuolumne counties event, edging Mount Oaks of Calaveras County. Bret Harte was third.

The state competition is next month in Sacramento.