Local middle school takes top honors at Academic Pentathlon


MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Cruickshank Middle School took top honors at the Academic Pentathlon, Merced City School District officials announced Monday.

The district says the annual event is a demonstration of academic knowledge and cooperative learning skills. This year’s theme was “In Sickness and In Health: An Exploration of Illness and Wellness.”  

Nicole Nguyen

More than 340 sixth-grade, seventh-grade, and eighth-grade students from all over Merced County competed in the 2020 MCOE (Merced County Office of Education) Academic Pentathlon on Mar. 12.  

The competition was held at the MCOE Downtown Professional Development Center before social distancing guidelines were in effect, school officials say.

Each team took four tests, demonstrating their knowledge in fine arts, literature, math, science and social science.  

The district says the middle school had not participated in this event for several years but still managed to place fifth place for the Top Team award.  

The team consisted of six students: Cienna Christie, Nicole Nguyen, Maklika Peou, Audrey Robinson, Kaitlyn Rockholt, and Tynique Williams.  

Kaitlyn Rockholt

Some students from the team received individual awards. Eighth grade Nicole Nguyen was awarded the highly coveted first place overall top-scoring student award. Kaitlyn Rockholt achieved third place overall.

School officials say the girls studied together during their school lunch period and on weekends, in the last two weeks before the competition.

“Cruickshank is very proud of the team and the success they had this year,” Principal Jerod Garst said.  “The team and coach Mrs. Wendy May worked very hard and it is great to see their success.”

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