On April 27-28 in Frisco, Texas, the Wilmot High School Academic Decathlon Team won the fifth United States Academic Decathlon Division 2 national team title in program history. That came on the heels of the Panthers winning their 10th consecutive Wisconsin Academic Decathlon state team championship in March. For a full story on the Wilmot Academic Decathlon team’s run of dominance, check out THIS STORY by Kenosha.com.
Meanwhile, Wilmot Academic Decathlon head coach Don Serkowski wrote the following after the Panthers’ trip to Texas last week resulted in their fifth national title:
After arriving on Tuesday (April 25) and exploring the Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame nearby, the team hunkered down to study Economics for the evening.
The next day, the decathletes took a break to travel to Dallas and take the JFK assassination tour. The tour guide was amazing, and the team went out for an expensive dinner in a downtown steakhouse.
On Thursday morning (April 27), an opening ceremony brought all the teams across the nation together to kick off the two-day competition. Speech and Interview competitions started in the mid-afternoon and ended later that evening. Friday (April 28) rounded out the competition with the four remaining tests (Economics, Social Science, Math and Science), and then it was time for the live Super Quiz event that afternoon.
After three nail-biting rounds of 18 questions to each of the grade-point average divisions, the Panthers had tallied 46 correct answers. Moments later, after all the tabulations were made, the Wilmot charges were crowned the Division 2 Super Quiz champions.
At 8 a.m. Saturday (April 29), the awards ceremony began. Wilmot decathletes began racking up medals from the very beginning, and the procession to the stage never stopped. Knowing the second-ranked team going in was only trailing Wilmot by 874 points, the suspense was palpable at the team table before the Panthers were announced as Division 2 champions.
Later, when team scores were released, the Panthers had extended the gap to over 3,000 points. Enhancing the entire experience, the team was loudly cheered on by the 16 Wilmot family members who made the pilgrimage to Frisco to witness the victory.
Wilmot senior Isaac Keen, the three-year decathlete affectionately nicknamed the “Keen Machine,” lived up to his moniker, posting the highest score of his stellar career in his very last decathlon to capture his second consecutive Division 2 individual national title, the first time that’s been achieved in program history.
“It’s arguably the best performance ever by a Wilmot student in any competition,” Serkowski stated.
Keen posted the third-highest score in the nation overall, regardless of division. He was less than 10 points from placing second overall and less than 100 points from placing first overall.
“Wilmot’s never had a decathlete finish that high in comparison with all decathletes nationwide before,” Serkowski said. “Isaac is definitely among the elite.”
Additionally, Keen posted the top Economics score of any decathlete, regardless of division, earning him the B. Franklin Reinauer II Economics Prize plaque and a $250 cash scholarship. He was also the highest scorer in the nation with a 980 on the Social Science exam, a score he’s achieved three times this year.
As the team’s highest-scoring decathlete, Keen received an additional cash scholarship of $250 and was unanimously voted Most Valuable Teammate, netting yet another $250. Keen totaled $1,750 in scholarship money for the event.
The national academic decathlon was held virtually the last three years due to the pandemic, so this year, Keen was able to get his due in-person.
“So happy for all the decathletes to get to experience this in-person competition, but especially for Isaac,” Serkowski said. “To be one of the top decathletes in the nation for so long and not being able to be recognized by the best in the country would have been a true shame.
“So I had a little extra emotion seeing him being able to get his due on this, the biggest stage of them all.”
Nearly all the Panthers improved their scores in Frisco from the state decathlon, and three others joined Keen on the Division 2 All-National team.
Senior Emilee Olenick also posted her career-high score in her final decathlon and clinched the top spot in the scholastic division for the second straight year. She was Wilmot’s second-highest scorer overall and earned a $1,000 cash scholarship, in addition to a golden plaque commemorating her incredible achievement.
Sophomore Evan Kerman, meanwhile, posted his highest score of the year, allowing him to place third overall in the scholastic division. Kerkman earned a $500 cash scholarship and a bronze plaque for his efforts.
Sophomore Charlie Fielder absolutely dominated the varsity division with his highest personal score to date. He was Wilmot’s third-highest scorer overall after putting up his highest personal score to date. Fielder also earned a $1,000 cash scholarship and a golden plaque for placing first in his division.
In total, Wilmot decathletes collected $4,250 in cash scholarships at the event.
Seniors Mary Catherine Slagle and Allison Streitmatter topped off the team scoring for the Panthers in the honors and varsity divisions, respectively, while junior Daegan Fragale narrowly trailed Slagle in the honors division.
Wilmot decathletes collected 47 of the available 99 individual medals handed out in Division 2, an even bigger share than they had at the state competition. In doing so, every single Wilmot decathlete earned an individual national medal.
- Isaac Keen — (Gold): Overall, Economics, Social Science, Essay, Literature, Music, Science, Art; (Bronze): Math.
- Mary Catherine Slagle — (Silver): Interview; (Bronze): Economics.
- Daegan Fragale — (Silver): Art.
- Emilee Olenick — (Gold): Overall, Essay, Literature, Art; (Silver): Science and Social Science; (Bronze): Economics, Math, Music.
- Evan Kerkman — (Gold): Social Science, Art, Music; (Silver): Literature; (Bronze): Overall.
- Mac Keen — (Silver): Economics; (Bronze): Speech, Social Science, Literature.
- Charlie Fielder — (Gold): Overall, Music, Essay, Social Science, Art, Literature, Science, Economics.
- Allison Streitmatter — (Silver): Social Science, Music, Literature; (Bronze): Essay, Art, Economics.
- Lorelei Glassman — (Silver): Literature; (Bronze): Essay and Art.
In program history, Wilmot has now accumulated five Division 2 national team titles, in California, Alaska, Minnesota, virtually and in Texas, and has also been Division 2 national runner-up three times, in Hawaii, Madison and virtually.