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Math-lete’s Assemble! Buchholz High School Mu Alpha Theta Gets Ready for Nationals BY TAYLOR MCLAMB | PHOTOS PROVIDED BY BUCHHOLZ MATH TEAM
it’s fun, you learn a lot of things, which is definitely why I think our practices are so effective,” said Tadesse.
“There are a lot of people on this team who’ve been working really hard this whole year and I want to see everything they’ve done pay off for them,” said Nagoshi. “I want them to feel like what they’ve did has culminated into a win.” Buchholz High School’s math team is notoriously competitive, having won its 13th state championship in the last 15 years. While their meticulous work ethic is definitely a large factor, the teams supportive, close-knit environment is the real secret behind their success. The addition of rigorous work ethic, determination and relentless strive to succeed, make the success of the Buchholz High School Math Team an easy equation to solve. After two close losses in the last two years, the 56-student math team returned to the Mu Alpha Theta state competition with a vengeance, consequently winning by a margin of 278 points over their close competitor, American Heritage School. Will Frazer, who founded the team in 1998 and continues to coach, said the win was a shock beyond their wildest dreams.
state competition is going to give us a good boost of energy, so we’re expecting good things to happen.”
While the team reined champion in all three divisions of the state competition, which include Algebra 2/ Geometry, PreCalculus and Calculus, as well as earning a winning sum of $3,000, it’s not quite time for the team to take a break. They need to start preparing for the national competition in Las Vegas in mid-July.
The students on the team partake in an intense math camp, where, for three to four weeks, they’ll diligently train for four hours a day, dissecting and practicing past competitions. Yared Tadesse, who is an 18-year-old senior on the Buchholz team, noted that the most important part of their practice is that they’re having fun while they’re doing it.
“We’re pumped up, we’re working hard and we expect to win,” said Frazer. “I think the momentum and the psychological edge of coming out of the
“Nothing productive ever happens when your brain is tired and you’re exhausted from doing math so many times, so when
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“I find that the most enriching part of these competitions isn’t actually the competition itself, it’s more the memories you make,” said Tadesse. “I think I’m going to remember the times I had with my friends more than any individual math problem, which is really the magic behind the entire team.”
For more information on the Buchholz Math Team, contact Mr. Frazer!
Photos courtesy of Buchholz Mu Alpha Theta.
Being part of the Buchholz team is not an easy feat. When it comes to a competition like nationals, it takes countless hours of preparation and endurance, but for many of the students, an opportunity like Las Vegas means more than just winning. Kira Nagoshi, a 16-year-old who has been on the math team since the eighth grade, emphasized it’s more important to her that everyone feels that their hard work has been worth it.
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