Lathrop High School

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Lathrop High School
Lathrop High School logo
School Founded 1955
Team Established 1987
History Lathrop is tied for the most Alaska Academic Decathlon state championships with West Valley, and is the only school ever to have broken 43,000 at the State Competition
City Fairbanks, Alaska
Team Colors Purple and gold
Principal Carly Sween
Head Coach Chris Benshoof
Associate/Other Head Coach(es)
National Championships None
State Championships 11: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2019
Regional/County Championships 14: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Region/County Location Fairbanks
Highest Finish 16th (4th in Division II): 2010 Nationals
School Website https://www.k12northstar.org/lathrop

School Profile[edit]

Lathrop High School is the oldest school in Fairbanks, Alaska, and serves the eastern part of the Fairbanks area. It is named after Alaskan businessman Austin E. "Cap" Lathrop (1865-1950). It first became strong in Academic Decathlon in the 1999-2000 season, and has been one of the top teams in the state since then, winning 11 state titles in the past 20 years (as of 2018). The coach is Chris Benshoof, a 2001 Lathrop graduate and a math/engineering teacher at Lathrop. Lathrop achieved some of its highest scores ever during the 2007 season, but was narrowly defeated by West Valley High School at both regionals and state. It was again defeated by West Valley at both regionals and state in 2008, but came back to win regionals and state by a wide margin in 2009. At 2009 nationals, Patricia Gerdes placed 3rd in Division II Honors, earning Lathrop's first individual overall medal. Lathrop won the Alaska state competition again in 2010. At nationals, Patricia Gerdes placed 2nd in Division II Scholastic with 8,247.8 points, the highest score ever achieved by a Lathrop Decathlete up until that point. The 2018 State Competition saw Lathrop senior Grace Martin break Lathrop's overall record with a score of 8,351.0. Jeremiah Malenfant also notably broke Lathrop's record for first time competitor with a score of 7,801.9. In the following 2019 State Competition, Lathrop would break several records. Lathrop had all 8 of it's offical members in the top 4 for each division , breaking West Valley's record of 7 (2015) and earning $19,000 in scholarships. Kyle VanHatten, Carson Kegley, and Jacob Lotze were the top scoring competitors for Honors, Scholastic, and Varsity. . Both Jacob and Carson also achieved this is during their first year of competition.This was the first time in Alaskan State History where one school had the top Honors, Scholastic, and Varsity students. Alongside Carson in the top three for the Scholastic division were Marcus Lengel ( 2nd) and his twin brother Camden (3rd). This is only the third time that a school has earned the top three spots in a division( the others being West Valley 2015 State , and Lathrop 2006 State), and was the first time that it had been achieved in the scholastic division. The team also achieved the highest State score in Alaskan history with a Score of 43,493.9. This score led to the largest recorded score gap in Alaskan history, with Lathrop leading over second place IDEA by 6878.5 points. Lathrop also broke it's medal record of 55 total, earning 96 total medals(55 individuals). 19 of these medals were gold, and Lathrop got one or more gold medals in every subject.

Since 2010, Lathrop has traded off wins with its cross-town rival West Valley High School, consistently being one of the top teams in the state. It placed first or second every year from 2000 to 2014, and from 2016-2019. In 2015 Lathrop took it's first 3rd place in 16 years (1999). Lathrop was beaten by West Valley and Juneau-Douglas. The latter was notably co-coached by Lathrop alumna Patty Gerdes at the time.

Record Board[edit]

Updated as of 2019.

Overall Team: 2019 State - 43,494

Total Medals: 2019 State - 96

Overall Honors: Grace Martin, 2018 State - 8,351.0

Overall Scholastic: Patricia Gerdes, 2010 Nationals - 8,247.8

Overall Varsity: Meghan Packee, 2008 State - 7,447.7

Biggest G: Jeremiah Malenfant

Biggest Thug: Jacob Lotze

Performance Chart[edit]

Year Regionals Score Regionals Rank State Score State Rank Nationals Score Nationals Rank
2019 39,563 1 43,493.9 1
2018 35,747 1 41,987.1 2 DNC DNC
2017 Unknown 1 38,856.9 1 38,558.4 18
2016 34,448.9 1 36,470.5 2 DNC DNC
2015 34,867.9 2 38,784.0 3 DNC DNC
2014 34,180 2 38,786.2 1 36,483.0 27
2013 33,034.7 1 36,154.6 2 DNC DNC
2012 33,915 2 38,025.7 1 37,732.2 18
2011 ~34,700 1 36,853.7 2 DNC DNC
2010 36,461.2 1 38,470.7 1 38,371.1 16
2009 33,760.1 1 37,251.9 1 36,724.1 23
2008 35,440.6 2 38,676.5 2 DNC DNC
2007 39,452.5 2 42,776.9 2 DNC DNC
2006 37,181.0 1 37,967.4 1 36,586.5 23
2005 37,528.0 1 37,895.1 2 DNC DNC
2004 2 40,687.3 1 39,887.6 17
2003 1 38,136.6 1 38,008.7 17
2002 1 2 DNC DNC
2001 1 36,000+ 1
2000 37,270 1 40,086 1 37,510 25