Math Team Takes Third Place in National Contest
A team of 15 students from around North Carolina placed third in the nation at the 33rd Annual American Regions Mathematics League Meet held recently. Pom McCabe, a student at Pinecrest High School, was a member of the team.
Two North Carolina teams participated at the University of Georgia site. This year's contest was held simultaneously at Penn State University, Iowa State University, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and the University of Georgia. Scores from each of the sites were compiled, and the A-Team from North Carolina placed first at the Georgia site and third in the nation.
Only the teams from New York City and Phillips Exeter Academy scored higher than the North Carolina team. San Francisco and Southern California rounded out the top five. The North Carolina team members, in what the coaches called a "rebuilding" year with an "awfully young" group of students, were somewhat surprised by their outstanding performance.
The North Carolina team had won this contest in 2006 and placed fourth in 2007. This outstanding finish made the North Carolina team the only team to have finished in the top five in each of the past three years. One-hundred and thirty-five teams from the United States along with a team from Hong Kong and Vietnam competed in this year's contest.
"This group of highly talented and extremely competitive students are the best of the best from across the state," said Sam Houston, president and CEO of the N.C. Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Center. "These students, their teachers and their fine coaches are to be commended for setting a high standard for other students in North Carolina. Our state should applaud them for representing North Carolina in such outstanding fashion over the past there years. I can't wait to see how they do in 2009."
Two teams of 15 students represented North Carolina at this meet. Half of the team members were selected on the basis of their finish in the State Math Contest, held at the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics on April 24.
The other team members were selected on the basis of other competitions, most notably the Mathcounts, the AMC (American Mathematics Contest), and AIME (American Invitational Mathematics Examination) competitions. After two practice sessions at the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics, the coaches divided the students into the A and B teams. The B-Team normally consists of younger students who attend for the experience and training for future "A" teams. The coaches for the N.C. teams were Archie Benton of North Buncombe High, Ken Thwing of Freedom High, Morganton, Kathy Hill of Athens Drive, Raleigh, and David Mermin, a former NC-ARML team member and now a teacher at Cummings High School, Burlington.
In addition to McCabe, other A-Team members were: John Berman, Hoggard High School, Wilmington; Jeremy Hahn, Michaux Academy, Chapel Hill; Vivek Bhattacharya and Daniel Vitek, Enloe High, Raleigh; Bryce Taylor, Mt. Tabor High School, Winston-Salem; William Schlieper, Green Hope High School, Cary; Fei Fei Wang, Jane Bae, and Gray Symon, all of Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill; Joe Keefer, N.C. School of Science and Mathematics and the Highland School of Technology in Gastonia; Christine Hong, Arendell Parrott Academy, Kinston; Kevin Lang Myers Park High School, Charlotte; Rang Wang, N.C. School of Science and Mathematics and J.H. Rose High School, Greenville, and Calvin Deng, a seventh-grader from Ligon Middle School in Raleigh and a member of the 2008 NC Mathcounts Team.
The North Carolina teams are sponsored by the State Mathematics Contest Committee of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics with additional support from the Duke Energy Foundation.
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