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 Eastlake High School Tops Scripps Ranch to Win San Diego County Academic League Championship

His head freshly shaved because of a pledge to students, Eastlake High Academic League coach Chris Domingo could hardly keep his composure as his team won the 2008 San Diego County Academic League Championship, beating Scripps Ranch High 73-48 for the title, in a match televised live on ITV Ch. 16. “I am very pleased with my students’ performance tonight,” Domingo said, moments after the final buzzer. “It’s a great feeling to win. As a coach I feel helpless, off to the side, as they answer these difficult questions, but they’ve worked hard and it all paid off.”

Domingo had promised his team he’d shave his head if they made it to the county semi-finals. When they did, his shoulder-length hair was shorn, and when Eastlake topped

West Hills High in the first of two April 29 semi-finals, Domingo’s team was guaranteed a slot for the championship. In the other semi-final, Scripps Ranch topped Rancho Bernardo High for the right to compete for the county championship, held two hours later in the County Office of Education’s ITV studio.

“It’s an awesome feeling to have won tonight,” said Eastlake Team Captain Jordan Gatlin, who plans to study Literature at UC Berkeley next fall. “Making it past the district finals and here today is amazing. I’m really proud of my teammates.”

Those teammates are: Robert Dunlip, Jessica Carr, Mona Fang, and Greg Fink, Jordan Gatlin, Jecedthel Dumpit, Ellen Moffett, Chelsea Baltierra, Hayoung Kim, Alejandra Garza, Derrick Carangian, Marliza Alonzo, Seira Fukushima, Julian Sena. Keith Ressler, Jennifer Lee, Ryota Fukushima, Adrian Alonzo, Meredith Quicho, and Gi-Hye Im.

Scripps Ranch jumped to an early 15-point lead in the 30-minute match, which was moderated by former County Teacher of the Year Mark Heinze. But Eastlake recovered, tying the score by the midway point, and then holding on for the championship.

All four semi-finalist schools competed over the course of eight consecutive weeks to earn a place in the Final Four. Questions in the popular competition come from math, science, history and literature. Using the fast-paced format of toss-up questions and immediate answers, Academic League not only matches extremely bright students, but forces them to compete against the clock as well.

County Superintendent Dr. Randy Ward presented both schools with trophies, and later said, “These are some for brightest, most motivated students in our schools. It’s a pleasure for the County Office of Education and ITV to provide a showcase for their intellect, their energy, and their competitive spirit.”