Elena Christian Junior High wins St. Croix MathCounts competition
Published: February 22, 2013
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ST. CROIX - More than 60 of St. Croix's top math students went head-to-head with numbers, equations and word problems Thursday during a MathCounts competition that lasted almost four hours in the Good Hope School gymnasium.
At the end of the competition, Elena Christian Junior High School out-calculated Country Day School, which had held on to its championship in the district MathCounts competition for several years.
Mathletes from eight public, private and parochial schools participated, and in four separate timed rounds, Elena Christian students added, multiplied and divided better than the others for first place in the team round.
The Elena Christian School team of Habeeba O'Neil, Ameena Mustafa, Kervin Mathurin and Yirakmal Henry - along with the other six top students - will represent the district in the state competition on March 14 on St. Thomas.
Mathletes in the St. Croix District hail from Elena Christian Junior High, Ricardo Richards Elementary, Good Hope, Country Day, IQRA Academy and Church of God Holiness Academy, Eulalie Rivera Elementary School and St. Patrick's School.
Elena Christian math coach Vicmund Regachuelo said he was proud of the win. He has been meeting with the student during their lunch hour since the beginning of the school year in preparation for the competition, and he saw their hard work and dedication pay off.
"They are really dedicated to the team and the competition," he said. "This is my third year, and last year we placed second, so it feels good to be number one."
Regachuelo said in preparation for the territorial competition next month he plans to continue meeting with the team and possibly increase their practice time to help their chances of winning.
Country Day School, which has dominated the competition for more than a decade, placed second in this year's competition under the tutelage of first-time coach Cesar Guerra.
The 40-minute first round, the Sprint Round, featured 30 problems distributed to individual competitors, and calculators are not permitted.
The second individual round, the Target Round, included eight multiple-step problems, given in four pairs, that require mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills.
The Team Round lasted 20 minutes and consisted of 10 problems that team members worked on together.
Competition organizer Juanita Boneque encouraged the students to continue their skill development in the math and science areas and to stay focused. She said MathCounts is a crucial tool for developing mathematics awareness, skills and interest in the territory.
Boneque said this year the district is celebrating its 27th year of conducting MathCounts and it is the 30th anniversary of the national competition.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.