MONMOUTH — The state champion Academic Decathlon team from Monmouth Academy returned to Monmouth on Sunday from the national championships in Anchorage, Alaska.

Cathy Foyt, co-coach of the Monmouth team with her husband, Scott Foyt, said in a phone call from Anchorage on Saturday that Monmouth Academy finished seventh in the small-school division at the national Academic Decathlon.

“It was pretty much of a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be up here and take part in this with so many other talented students,” said Cathy Foyt.

David Heckman of Monmouth, state director of Academic Decathlon, also was in Alaska for the national competition which was held at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel where the team stayed. Heckman said this year’s competition attracted top teams from 34 states, 13 schools in China, one from Canada and two from the United Kingdom. There were also about 50 students who competed as individuals.

The overall winner for the second year in a row was Granada Hills Charter High School of Los Angeles, California.

The students competed over two days in 10 categories — art, economics, essay, interview, language/literature, mathematics, music, science, social science and speech. There also was a lightning round or Super Quiz. This year’s theme was India. The students had spent the year preparing for the academic competition.

Each high school sent an 11-member team: three students with “A” averages, three with “B” averages and three with “C” averages plus two alternates. The chaperones for the Monmouth team were Cathy and Scott Foyt and Jim Grandahl, a parent.

Monmouth had five national medal winners: Emmeline Willey, Madison Bumann and Christopher Dumont, all in essay; Corey Tartarka in music; and Dylan Goff in economics.

An awards banquet was held on Saturday.

After winning the Maine Academic Decathlon and beating perennial champion Scarborough High School at the end of February, the Monmouth team had to raise nearly $10,000 for the Alaska trip. They took a bus to Boston and flew to Anchorage last Tuesday, returning home on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

While most of their trip was devoted to the grueling academic competition, the Monmouth students did have some time for sightseeing. They visited some museums and went to the Alaska National Conservation Center where they saw foxes, caribou, eagles, musk ox and moose, according to Cathy Foyt. She said the temperature and climate in Anchorage was much like Maine with no snow on the ground.

“They got to talk with kids from other schools, and we got to chat with coaches from other schools,” she said. “We all just had a wonderful time. We learned about the culture of Alaska, and we met some nice, interesting people from all over the country.”

Monmouth Academy last won the state Academic Decathlon in 2004. In 31 years of state competition, Monmouth has won five times.