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Area schools compete at CSU Math Day, SHS team finishes runner-up

November 9, 2018

FORT COLLINS — Scottsbluff and Gering high school math club students traveled to Fort Collins, Colorado, on Thursday, Nov. 1, to compete in the Colorado State University Math Day competition.

Gering was represented by 14 math club members in the competition. Gering had one team finish in third and another in fourth in the small schools bracket. A Scottsbluff team finished as the runner-up in the large schools bracket. Sixty-four teams competed in the CSU Math Day.

Prior to the math tournament, students participated in the Math Day mathematics fair. The fair included mathematical themed puzzles and games, as well as sections on construction, devices, models, arts, and posters. In the original mathematics research category, Scottsbluff High School had students finish in second and third. Emily Carpenter and Cody Fosket took second with their project “Agricultural Mathematics.” Gabriel Salinas and Jobee O’Bannon finished in third with “T-Shirt Trebuchet” in the same category. In the mathematical models and art category, Alex Stambaugh and Jatin Cranmore took third with “The Almost Perfect Sled.”

There was also a Hewlett Packard virtual reality system competition. Kamden McGrew of Scottsbluff High School was named one of the winners.

The tournament competition started at 11 a.m. as three-member teams competed at the Lory Student Center. Large and small schools competed in separate brackets with each game consisting of 12 questions worth one point each. The contestants have 30 seconds to answer a variety of challenging math questions.

Scottsbluff and Gering had three teams compete in the competition and Kimball had two teams. The Gering and Kimball teams competed in the small school division and the Scottsbluff teams competed in the large school division. Both brackets were comprised of 32 teams.

Scottsbluff High School’s math B team, comprised of Billy Mosher, Talera Kinsey, and Brisa Rios, faced Fairview in the first round, losing 11-1. Heritage was their second opponent they faced and were eliminated from the competition after losing 6-2. The math C team of Ken Pham, Porter Robbins, Octavious Gonzalez, and Nathan Hoevet faced Smoky Hill and Lakewood, losing 6-2 and 5-1, respectively. Scottsbluff’s math D team, which included John Mentgen, Seth Yarnell, Simran Cheema, and Avery Wicker faced Arapahoe A, Fairview B, Broomfield A, and Lakewood A. Scottsbluff defeated Arapahoe and Broomfield before being eliminated.

Scottsbluff’s A team would dominate their opponents through several rounds in bracket play. They defeated Regis Boys A 8-3, Mountain Vista B 10-1, Golden, Colorado, A 9-1, Fairview A 10-1, and Fossil Ridge A 7-0. The team, comprised of Dakota Andrews, Katherine Reisig, and Kamden McGrew, advanced to the finals round where they faced Fairview. The lost 10-1 and then lost 6-5 in the championship round. They earned a runner-up finish for the third time in four years.

“Dakota, Katherine, and Kamden came within one point of knocking off a perennial powerhouse,” said math teacher Shelby Aaberg. “In the earlier rounds, our A team did manage to beat the eventual champion Fairview by a score of 10-1.”

Since Scottsbluff started competing in the math contest in 2006, this year was the first time they beat a Fairview team in the bowl competition.

Each head-to-head game included 12 questions, similar to a quiz bowl format. The CSU Math Day was double elimination.

Scottsbluff’s math club will compete in the state math contest at the University of Nebraska — Lincoln on Nov. 15. They will compete against Omaha Skutt, Creighton Prep, Elkhorn South, Elkhorn, Lincoln Pius X, Gretna, Kearney, Bellevue East, Fremont, and Lexington.

“We are looking forward to the challenge and have high hopes,” said Aaberg.

Gering’s math teams would also perform well against the competition, with two teams finishing in the top four. That is the highest Gering has placed at the CSU Math Day for several years. As the Gering A team progressed through the bracket, they faced Kimball B, Windsor Chart A, Windsor Chart B, and Ridgeview A before facing the Gering B team. Gering B competed against KIPP B, Holy Family B, and Manitou Springs. Both teams had one loss.

“The competition is double elimination,” said Gering High School math teacher Laurie Parker. “Gering A had to face Gering B to determine who moved on.”

Matthew Bohlman, Alethia Henderson, Kelsey Le, Victoria Brady and Logan Fuller were members of the Gering B team who placed third in the competition.

The Gering A team, comprised of Logan Moravec, Spencer Lenoir, Brandon Panattoni and Isaiah Henderson finished in fourth place.

“Gering’s students represented the school exceptionally well and we are very proud of how well they did at CSU Math Day,” Parker said.

Kimball B faced Gering A and Buena Vista A. They lost both matches and were eliminated from the competition. Kimball A faced Steamboat and Buena Vista B, losing to both teams.

Gering’s math club will also compete in the state math contest at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on Nov. 15.

Gering will also attend the South Dakota School of Mines math contest in May.

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