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National Restaurant Association - National ProStart Invitational continues Sunday

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National ProStart Invitational continues Sunday

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La Quinta (Calif.) High School's ProStart management team has a tough act to follow.

At last year's National ProStart Invitational, the winning teams in the culinary and management competitions both were from California — and the same high school.

"We all have targets on our backs," junior Amanda Teskinsky says of her La Quinta teammates. Although they're not from last year's winning Newport Harbor High School, they're from California. And that seems to worry competitors from other states, she says.

Teskinsky and her teammates Cassandra McIntyre, Brittany Price and Quentin Garcia played checkers in the student lounge Saturday as they rehearsed their presentation. The team developed a hypothetical sports bar and grill, with a casual friendly atmosphere.

"It's not a normal dark [sports bar] that looks like a dungeon when you go in," McIntyre says.

After winning the California ProStart Invitational earlier this year, the team fine-tuned its presentation. They revised some pricing issues and the floor plan, based on feedback from judges.

Garcia says he thinks the team's presentation on Sunday will go well, thanks to the students' confident attitudes and unique concept.

"I haven't seen anything like this here or anywhere else," he says. "If there are [teams with a sports bar concept], they're not going to beat us."

The La Quinta students are among 350 students from nearly every state competing this weekend in Baltimore. They are contending for more than $1.3 million in scholarships from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and several colleges and universities.

The winners will be announced tonight at an awards dinner. See photos and videos of the competitions.

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