Liberty DECA prevails at competition

Jacob Hepp, Staff Writer

DECA made an incredible showing at their last competition, known as DECA Area, on January 8th, coming out with an all-time record of State qualifiers for Liberty, sending 44 students.
“It was a lot of fun,” senior state qualifier Alex Wilsey said. “A bunch of people did really well. We saw success in the first year members, which is something that we’re pretty excited about.”
Although there were 44 qualifiers at that competition, more students were qualified through their papers.
“In Liberty alone, we qualified 72 people to State,” sophomore state qualifier Bethany Locke said.
Of the people who made state, there were five who competed in two different events and made state in both.
“The competition was successful,” DECA teacher Chris Gapinski said. “We’re breaking lots of records.”
Patriots who were double qualifiers include senior Connor Applegate, junior Sally Celigoy, junior Jason Hurwitz, and sophomore Felicia Yan.
“It was my first competition, so it was very nerve wracking. Obviously lots of preparation goes into the process,” Locke said. “It was a lot to take in at once but once you’re there, it’s pretty chill and lots of people are really nice and understanding. It’s a good learning experience even if it’s your first time.”
Alex Wilsey placed first at the competition in his event, and even placed 2nd in the nation last year.
“There’s a lot of motivation going into this year to get back to that stage, and hopefully I end up at the top of the podium this time,” Wilsey said. “The first step was winning Area, and I did that this year.”
Moving on to state is a challenge that has to be prepared for by all competitors.
“We send people in three types of events, so it depends on the event” Wilsey said. “In papers, they’re already written, so they just have to present them. For state, they’ll be practicing their presentations.
State qualifiers will be competing for Nationals spots on March 5.