Placing second in News and Novice News Sweepstakes and fourth in Yearbook Sweepstakes, The Matador Newspaper and El Camino Real Yearbook won second place in Super Sweepstakes of the Eastern Los Angeles County Journalism Education (ELAJEA) Regional Write-offs hosted at Schurr High School on March 3.
Both publications competed against high schools, including Schurr, Walnut, and Wilson, in a variety of categories. Competitors had an hour to complete the prompt, with an additional hour for those competing in Yearbook Copy and Layout. Students who competed in Editorial Writing, Editorial Cartooning, and News participated in a press conference, with the topic being safe haven districts.
Scores from Editorial Writing, Features, News, and Sports were used to judge the News Sweepstakes category, in which San Gabriel (SGHS) and Walnut tied for first—both scoring 43 points. SGHS was awarded second place since they had fewer first and second place finishers in a category.
“I was very proud of how [SGHS] placed: tied for first place,” Valerie Larsen, chaperone and a speaker of the press conference, said. “However, I think it should have been a tie and not a second place designation; it was too close.”
Despite the close call, junior Eileen Ong said the competition was a “really fun bonding experience.”
“I’m especially proud of our staff for placing second in Super Sweepstakes, even though we technically tied with Walnut,” Ong said. “The fact that some of our talented people got to show off their dancing, singing, and giant Jenga skills [before score announcements] was pretty awesome too.”
From The Matador Newspaper, Eileen Ong placed third, junior Echo Dieu placed fifth, and senior Carlos Carrillo placed eighth in Editorial Writing; junior Selina Han placed first and sophomore Elsie Wang placed seventh in Features; junior Kenny Lam placed fourth in News; senior Nian Capili placed sixth in sports; junior Donna Hernandez placed first and junior Lucas Jorgensen placed fifth in Critical Review; junior Kelly Lac placed second, junior Angela Lu placed third, and senior Jennifer Cheung placed fifth in Editorial Cartooning; senior Karina Matias placed third and junior Alice Li placed eighth in Newspaper Layout; junior Vivian Zheng placed third, junior Brianna Huynh-Tong placed fourth, junior Lu June Lin placed 13th, junior Clara Quach placed 15th, and junior Emily Tan placed 17th in Novice News; and senior Bastian Mendez placed fifth in Feature Photography.
“As a second year member, I felt a lot of pressure to do well in feature writing since I placed last year,” Han, who placed in first in Features, said. “My stomach dropped when the announcer got up to top three. I wasn’t confident that I would beat out the other articles.”
From the El Camino Yearbook, senior William Kwoon placed eighth in Feature Photography; senior Leo Yue placed third and junior Paula Lay placed fifth in News Photography; seniors Nicole Nguyen, Jacob Rodriguez and Sydney Tran and junior Shirley Ta, as a team, placed fourth in Yearbook Copy and third in Layout; seniors Patricia Lipana and Rou Wen and juniors Sydney Ly and Sharon Tu, as a team, placed seventh in Yearbook Copy and fourth in Layout.
“I think bittersweet would be the best way to describe my experience, as it was my last regionals competition,” Yue said. “[It] didn’t really matter if I won or not. [I] just wanted to have a good time.”
Selected competitors and those who placed in Editorial Writing, Features, News, Sports, and Yearbook are qualified to advance to State.