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Representing the math elite
This is the second year that Crook County Middle School students have qualified for the regional “Mathcounts” competition and sent a student to state
BACK ROW FROM LEFT: Josie Graydon, Olivia Cooper, Caleb Knight, Carson Porter, Megan Frost, and Abby Papke. FRONT ROW FROM LEFT: Emma Bartlett, Kaitlyn Nixon, and Igor Tsyhanchuk.
March 14, 2013
Crook County Middle School has put themselves on the map for being a presence to contend with in the subject of math.
Nine Crook County Middle School students represented Crook County at a regional math competition, referred to as “Mathcounts,” held in Redmond on March 2. In all, there were five schools at the Redmond contest, with a total of 10 teams and 40 students. Math instructor Matt Fischer is the advisor for the local group for Mathcounts, and indicated that there were almost twice as many students representing CCMS as last year. His students took fourth place as a team.
Eight-grader Abby Papke came away from the competition with an individual second place, which qualified her for the state competition. She returned from the competition, held in Corvallis at Oregon State University, last weekend. She placed 56 out of 102 students. Papke said that this year, there were more students competing, both from CCMS and in the overall competition.
“I felt less stress, because I had more people I know,” said Papke of the regional competition. “I was the only seventh grader last year, and this year there was three other eighth graders.”
At the state competition, she pointed out that she had to be on a team with three other students who came without fellow team members from their school. She added that the questions were more difficult than last year.
“The questions for the state are extremely difficult,” added Fischer.
He noted that although the regional competition is rigorous, the statewide contest is quite advanced.
At the regional competition, students had to work together as a team, and some of the students from CCMS had to work in teams with other schools. Fellow CCMS eighth-grader Carson Porter said that the questions they were given were like riddles, and they had to set up equations and find the missing variables.
Sixth-grader Josie Graydon said that although many of the students at the competition had more experience, the team members helped her learn and do better in the competition. She added that many of the math problems were higher-level problems than she had done in class.
Of the student participants, there were four eighth graders, three sixth graders, and two seventh graders who represented CCMS. Fischer said that the students were there for every single practice.
“They were motivated, they were ready to go and were excited,” added Fischer. “Carson brought snacks every week, and every week, they showed up.”
All of the students stressed that they were honored to be able to go and compete, and would participate again next year, given the chance.
“I was really excited to go,” said eighth-grader Emma Bartley. “I didn’t think I would make it, but I did and it was a lot of fun.”
Sixth-grader Olivia Cooper also found another emphasis that motivated her when she went to the regional competition.
“I liked all the food, it was the best part,” she said lightheartedly. “I liked being with all my friends all fellow brainiacs.”
Seventh-grader Kaithlyn Nixon remarked that the questions were really hard, but she learned a lot from the teamwork, and having to listen to what other team members had to say.
Megan Frost, also a seventh- grader, also liked the support from her team.
“Everyone had a great attitude, and tried their best,” she said.
Fisher indicated that the CCMS team was a happy group, and a great bunch of kids.
“Every single one of them is a great kid. You hope that they know that, and you hope that they get recognized for being a good kid and doing well in school.”