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Kansas Wesleyan University

Kansas Wesleyan’s DECA team continued its impressive winning streak at the recent state meet, held Jan. 28 at Tabor College in Hillsboro. It was the fifth consecutive year that KWU finished as the top team in the state.

This year, KWU matched up against the likes of the University of Kansas, Fort Hays State University, Tabor College and Cowley College.

Overall, the team earned first place in 11 of the 14 total events in which it competed. Students had the opportunity to compete in either individual or team (duo) events. In those events, KWU took 24 of the 26 possible medals.

The winning group was composed of 13 teammates – seven returning competitors and six newcomers.

“I love seeing my returnees continue to perform at the highest level; somehow, they just keep getting better,” said Dr. Trish Petak, DECA coach and associate professor of Business and Accounting at KWU. “What’s most impressive about this team is their positive attitude and trust in my leadership. I shook up partners and had them branch away to mentor two newcomers, and I’ve also recruited some very strong students to simply give DECA a try. All earned medals on Friday and gained some confidence.”

The DECA international competition will take place in Baltimore, Md. from April 9 – April 12, where more than 1,000 students from around the world will also be competing.

A capsule of 2022 DECA results follows.


Karley Benson – first place, Restaurant and Food Service Management; first place, Hotel and Lodging

Matthew Freriks – third place, Marketing Management; third place in Sales Management Meeting

Taylor Lang – first place, Retail Management

Brian Nelson – first place; Financial Accounting, first place; Managerial Accounting

Paige Welk – first place; Sales Management Meeting


Maddy Beckett and Alexis Utz – first place; Business Ethics, first place; Event Planning

Courtney Beers and Linda Himes – second place; Business Ethics, second place; International Marketing

Trey Duffey and Connor Waltz – first place; Sports and Entertainment Marketing, first place; International Marketing

Ryann Kats and Emily Monson – first place; Marketing Communication, second place; Business-to-Business Marketing

ABOUT DECA: DECA presents students with real-time business problems and/or opportunities, and students present possible solutions to a judge. Students select specialized events in areas such as: accounting, entrepreneurship, hospitality, management and marketing. They’re provided a case, and individuals are given 30 minutes to prepare their solution, whereas teams are given 60 minutes to prepare theirs.