Grant High School in Valley Glen was named Wednesday the winner of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s 40th annual Academic Decathlon.

The six-member team scored 48,180.3 out of a possible 60,000 points to emerge victorious, according to the district. The topic of this year’s decathlon was “The Cold War.”

Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the normal gathering of students for the decathlon was held virtually, consisting of multiple-choice tests, speeches, interviews and essays.

Grant High will lead the LAUSD delegation to the California Academic Decathlon, which will be held virtually from March 3 to March 20. Also advancing to the state competition from LAUSD were Van Nuys High School, which finished second with 40,316.6 points; John Marshall High School with 40,158.8 points; Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets with 38,119.6; last year’s district champ Bell High School, with 37,787.7 points; Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies Magnet with 37,169.4 points; Verdugo Hills High School with 36,422.2 points; and North Hollywood High School with 35,520.6 points.

“Congratulations decathletes, coaches and all who participated in the Academic Decathlon this year,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said in a statement. “`The Cold War’ — what a rich topic. I can remember my first visit to Berlin in 1980, at the height of the Cold War. Working in Russia in the mid-90s on behalf of the Clinton administration, helping transition that economy to a market economy. And today, we still see echoes and repercussions around the world. You have to be a polymath to do well in the decathlon. Congratulations on your progress, keep up the great work in school, and I wish you much, much success in your journey.”

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