West Mathletes Take 3rd at JJC Regionals
Monday, February 29, 2016

The Lincoln-Way West Mathletes competed at the regional level on Saturday, February 27. The regional was held at Joliet Junior College and saw eight schools compete in the 3AA division.

The West Mathletes had strong finishes from their three group competitions. The Freshman/Sophomore 8 person team, the Junior/Senior 8 person team, and the Calculator team all finished in first place. In these competitions, groups of students work cooperatively to solve problems while discussing possible methods for finding solutions.

In the 2 person competitions, questions are presented one a time. Each school sends a pair of students to work together and race against time, and the other schools, to solve the problem first. The Freshman/Sophomore team of Kevin Beallis and Luke James finished first, while the Junior/Senior team of Julia Monti and Sydney Valiska finished second.

Although this year's strength was found in the group competitions, several individuals performed extremely well. Kevin Beallis earned the third highest individual score in the Geometry competition, and Julia Monti finished fifth in the Pre-Calculus competition. In these contests students are given twenty questions to complete in fifty minutes.

Dario Panici and Olivia DeGroot, the president and vice-president of the team respectively, did well in the demonstration competition. Panici and DeGroot were given an external reference covering Isometries of the Plane and were asked to present their solutions in front of judges as if they were teaching a college class.

"I am so proud of how hard they worked. Dario and Olivia spent so much time prepping for this, and I'm really happy with the results," said Tim Barry, the West Mathletes coach.

"The whole team did great," Barry continued. "The students came in early, worked during advisory, and did extra practice on weekends. It was a great performance by the team."

Panici echoed the comments made by his coach. "It was a great team effort today. People worked hard, and everyone should be really proud."

Overall, the Warriors finished in third place and qualified at least 21 students for the ICTM State Competition in May. The team will have to wait until late March for more state-wide results to see if even more students will qualify.

"It's really great how the team did today," commented DeGroot. "It's awesome how many Warriors will be going to State. We are all looking forward to winning some medals at U of I."

The ICTM State Competition will be held on Saturday, May 7 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The next Mathletes event will be the Joliet Junior College Invitational on March 9. JJC will award six a $2000 scholarship to teams finishing first or second in each division.

"It would be great for the students if we could win that scholarship," Barry said. "I know they will work hard. We've got a great team that loves math. No matter what, I'm proud of all they've accomplished this year."