Cedar Park sweeps academic UIL

Lauren Kriss

Spring UIL season is in full swing, and Cedar Park’s best and brightest have something to prove. The pressure is mounting with only a few more invitational meets left before the district meet on Mar. 23 and UIL hopefuls are starting to feel the heat-not that they should.

At the Burnet invitational on Jan. 19 the CPHS academic teams had immense success. Novice Cross Examination Debate competitors sophomore Annie Hooper and junior Matt Sananokone won second place with senior Jenny Zheng and junior Ben Baldazo taking third. In Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate junior Evan Grosch came in second.

CPHS also placed in several journalism events. Sophomore Paige Parks took fifth place in News Writing as well as second place in Feature Writing. Sophomore Julia O’Hanlon placed third in Feature Writing.

Seniors Patrick Meier and Zach Hawks dominated multiple science events. Meier took first place overall, and first place in Physics. Hawks received second place overall and first place in Chemistry. Together the boys won best team.

UIL Coordinator Dawn Azbill-Smith isn’t surprised that CPHS did so well and is confident that the success in Burnet will translate to the district meet.

“We’re going to do really well this year,” Azbill-Smith said. “We’ve got a really good team.”

Sophomore oral-interpreter Chrissy Walker believes in the entire Academic UIL team too.

“I think my teammates and I will do pretty well,” Walker said. “We’ve all been practicing for a while and I think we’ll have good performances.”

Not everyone is as certain as Walker. Sophomore Rachel Freeman, who competes in journalism and social studies, is still anxious despite all her prepping.

“I’m always nervous about doing my best or just doing well in general,” Freeman said.

As for O’Hanlon, winning is a matter of pride.

“I don’t want [Anyone from] Vandegrift or Rouse to beat me,” O’Hanlon said. “That would be embarrassing.”

For Azbill-Smith the goal is very clear: show that CPHS is truly the best.

“I want to take as many people to state as I can,” Azbill-Smith said. “It would be nice if we won Academic Districts this year.”