Alejandra Cárdenas, 18, could not stop crying after hearing the results of the California Academic Decathlon.
Confident that her school, Los Ángeles' Marshall High School, would win, Cárdenas said she was devastated by the results that left her team in second place.
"I feel devastated," said Cárdenas, who cried uncontrollably. "Our team worked so hard to win; we were sure we would win, but unfortunately we weren't able to this year."
Amber Espenda, another Marshall student, said she was completely surprised by the results.
"I didn't expect this. I thought we would capture first place. We prepared a lot, but it didn't help much," said Espenda.
Los Ángeles' El Camino High captured first place in the four-day competition. The award ceremony was held at the Sacramento Auditorium.
Third place went to Granada Hills Charter High School of Los Ángeles.
Fresno's Edison High School placed fourth, and University High School, also of Fresno, won fifth place. Sanger's Hallmark High School placed 10th.
"This is a dream come true. We knew we were prepared, but we also knew the state competition would be very hard because Marshall High School came with a very strong team but we won and there are no words to express my joy," said Daniel Hass, a member of the winning team.