Lathrop High School

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Lathrop High School
Lathrop High School logo
School Founded 1955
Team Established 1987
History Lathrop has the most Alaska Academic Decathlon state championships with 12, 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 12: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2019, 2020
Regional/County Championships 15: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019,2020
Region/County Location Fairbanks
Highest Finish 15th (4th in Division II): 2019 Nationals
School Website

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 2019). The coach is Chris Benshoof, a 2001 Lathrop graduate and a statistics, computer science, and 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). 20 of these medals were gold, and Lathrop got one or more gold medals in every subject. At 2019 Nationals, Lathrop produced it's best nationals performance. Lathrop got a record 18 medals, and every team member earned a medal. In addition to this, Lathrop broke it's superquiz record ( by percentage) with 42/54, and managed to get Lathrop's first SuperQuiz Gold. Their placement of 15th overall also set a school record. While their score of 42,697 did decrease, it is the highest Lathrop has ever performed at Nationals, it is the first time Lathrop has managed to break the 40,000 barrier, and is the third highest Nationals performance that an Alaskan team has ever produced. Also, Carson Kegley notably got 2nd in Division II scholastic, matching Patty Gerde's achivement in placement. 2020 Regionals was another great competition for Lathrop. Kyle VanHatten, Luke Martin, and Daisy Morotti were the top scoring Honors, Scholastic, and Varsity respectively. Kyle VanHatten, Henry Haas, and Victor Zhou were the the top 3 Honors at the competition, and broke the record for highest average regionals honors and highest average counting honors. Henry Haas became the highest scoring first-competition/first-year Decathlete in Alaskan History with a score of 8314, and Kyle VanHatten broke the school overall record with a score of 8748.5. At 2020, Lathrop once again dominated. After 21 years. Lathrop broke the state win record and surpassed West Valley with their 12th state win. Lathrop became the first school in Alaskan history to score over 40,000 for three consecutive years. Lathrop earned 2 speech showcases and 7 scholarships. Kyle VanHatten, Wesley Theis, and Daisy Morotti were the top scoring Honors, Scholastic, and Varsity respectively. Kyle, Wesley and Daisy earned 9 event medals. Lathrop also broke its superquiz record (by percentage) with 30/36. Lathrop also managed to literally clear the table and have every teammate earn a medal in Social Science. This helped Lathrop to a new high of 59 event medals, and a tied 96 total medals. Henry Haas earned 7 medals, 5 of which were gold, and broke the Lathrop Objective record with 6,400. Kyle VanHatten scored 8940.1, a new Lathrop record, the highest state competition score in Alaskan history, and the second highest score in Alaskan history.Together, Kyle and Henry became the highest scoring Honors countering-pair beating out the previous record of Atticus Geiger and Raymond Hogenson from 2015 State.

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 2016-2020. 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 2020.

Overall Team: 2019 State - 43,494

Total Medals: 2019 State/ 2020 State - 96

Overall Honors: Kyle VanHatten, 2020 State - 8,940.1

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

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

Performance Chart[edit]

Year Regionals Score Regionals Rank State Score State Rank Nationals Score Nationals Rank
2020 38,580 1 40,524.7 1
2019 39,563 1 43,493.9 1 42,697.0 15
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