Two Orange County middle schools earn top honors at the 2021 national Academic Pentathlon

Two middle school teams from Orange County were awarded silver medals in their respective grade levels at the 2021 United States Academic Pentathlon.

The seventh-grade team from Lakeside Middle School in the Irvine Unified School District and the eight-grade team from Fairmont Private Schools‘ Historic Anaheim Campus both earned second place overall in their grade levels at the May 21 competition, which was held completely online.

Fairmont Academic Pentathlon team 2021
The eight-grade team from Fairmont Private Schools‘ Historic Anaheim Campus earned second place overall in their grade level at the 2021 national Academic Pentathlon.

Only two teams are invited to the national competition from each state and this year, and both of California’s teams were from Orange County — a feat that hasn’t occurred since Fairmont took the national championship in 2016.

Individually, Lakeside students won 19 medals, and within the subject categories two students earned perfect scores on the science portion of the test. Fairmont students earned 15 individual medals, with five being gold.

One additional Orange County school, Arborland Montessori, participated in an optional online competition offered for non-winning teams from any state. Arborland’s seventh-grade team took first place in their grade level and won 25 individual team medals.

The United States Academic Pentathlon is a five-event scholastic competition for middle school students, providing the benefits of Academic Decathlon along with the challenges of rigorous team and individual competition.

The pentathlon areas of concentration are language and literature, fine arts, science, mathematics and social science. Academic pentathlon teams comprise students in three different grade-point average categories: Honor (those with GPAs of 3.80 or above), Scholastic (GPAs of 3.20 to 3.79) and Varsity (GPAs or 3.199 or below). The categories are designed to ensure all students have an opportunity to compete.

You can find the full list of team and individual honors at

For more information on how to start an academic decathlon or pentathlon program at your school, please contact Kristin Rigby, OCDE coordinator of academic events and recognition programs at 714-966-4435 or