Math Team Takes a Win

Isabella Lilley, Staff Writer

The EHS Math Teams’ Team Caterpillar took home a first place win for a second week in a row at the Southwest Math Conference.

In addition to the team award, individual awards included sophomore Matt Morse with a first and a second place, freshman Alyssa Voepel with a second and a third, senior Jacob Vietch with a second and sixth, and senior Helen Babb with two third places.

Sophomore Will Jeziorski has also walked away with a third, freshman Ian Klein with a second and a fifth, senior Jacob Trueb, sophomore Erik Saathoff both with fifths, junior Henry Lu with a fifth and sixth, freshman Sarah Lenhardt with a sixth place finish, and freshman Phillip Griffin with a seventh.

This competition marked the second of four hosted by the Southwest Math Conference at Southwest Illinois College (SWIC) in Belleville.

Vietch, one of the four members of Team Caterpillar, wasn’t at all disappointed with the outcome at these two competitions. “We certainly take pride in winning. We’ve got some intelligent kids.”

Lu has been competing on math team since middle school, but his drive hasn’t faded. “My goal for the rest of this competition is to place in the top 8 [in the individual portion].”

The Math Team practices twice a week, an hour each time. Three members from each grade level are chosen to compete at this string of competitions, by a test they are given at practice before each competition. “Even if you didn’t get to compete in the previous competition, you always have the chance to get back into it,” Vietch said.

Ms. Mollie Easley has been the head sponsor of the Math Team for the past nine years, and is incredibly proud of her competitors, having witnessed her team win the SWIC competition every one of these years.

In addition to the 12 individual competitors from each school, Team Caterpillar includes from each grade level: Voepel, Morse, Bentley, and Vietch.

Lu enjoys the group competition, having it be a team effort. “In math competitions, working with a lot of people doesn’t make me very nervous [in comparison to] individual competitions.”

The same individual tests are administered to each participant, but the competitors are judged against those in their grade level. The individual tests contain 50 questions with 40 minutes to complete, no calculator allowed. The group competition test asks 10 tedious questions, with 20 minutes given to solve, but a calculator allowed for assistance.

Later in the year, the math team will compete at sectionals at SIUE, and depending that outcome, will compete at the state competition at the University of Illinois.

“We lost a lot of seniors, so we won’t be as strong as we were last year. [I’m still] hoping that we win at sectionals,” Ms. Easley said.

The third round in the Southwest Math Conference will be this Monday, Oct. 21 at Southwest Illinois College.