Students crunch the numbers during St. Croix Mathcounts

Students crunch the numbers during St. Croix Mathcounts

FREDERIKSTED — If a group of middle-schoolers solved 30 problems in 40 minutes, eight problems in 24 minutes and 10 problems in 20 minutes, what is the average number of problems solved per hour?

Word problems like the above are anxiety-inducing for most, but 36 math-savvy students tackled questions like that and more during the 42nd annual Mathcounts competition on Friday morning at the University of the Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park.

The contest was broken up into sections — some questions allowed the use of calculators or teammates and others did not. After the official, written round, mathletes went head-to-head in a “Countdown” round for a good-natured contest of speed and accuracy.

Good Hope Country Day School eighth-grader Teague Gleason earned top marks in both. Gleason credited the practice he did in school and help from his uncle after his big wins on Friday.

Students crunch the numbers during St. Croix Mathcounts

The Good Hope Country Day School emerged victorious during the Mathcounts competition Friday on St. Croix at the University of the Virgin Islands’ Research and Technology Park. Church of God Holiness Academy students also excelled. Ten students advanced to the territorial competition, set for March 21 on St. Croix. From left are Teague Gleason, GHCDS, who earned top honors in the event; Eric Sommer, GHCDS; William Simon, GHCDS; K’Nala Hendrickson, CGHA; Naazir Joseph, CGHA; A.J. Mauro, GHCDS; Diella Maynard, GHCDS; Armani Carr, CGHA; Cole Cullinan, GHCDS; and Mykal Heyliger, CGHA

But that doesn’t mean everything was a breeze.

“I’d say it was just some of the like, angles and stuff, were challenging,” he said.

Gleason recommended that students looking to follow in his footsteps take time to memorize formulas.

Overall, students from Good Hope Country Day School and the Church of God Holiness Academy had an especially strong showing. The former achieved the top team ranking and the latter took second, followed by Ricardo Richards Elementary School and Pearl B. Larsen.

Gleason and nine other students will next compete in the territorial competition, scheduled for March 21 on St. Croix. The other advancing students are Eric Sommer, William Simon, KNala Hendrickson, Naazir Joseph, AJ Mauro, Diella Maynard, Armani Carr, Cole Cullinan and Mykal Heyliger.

Top contestants from that competition will advance to a national contest.

Though a shipping delay meant that trophies didn’t quite make it in time for Friday’s event, St. Croix’s Education Department Insular Superintendent Ericilda Herman had no shortage of praise for the competitors and their coaches.

“And I’m hoping that as we continue this process, by next year we’ll have more schools involved,” she said. “Because we really need to show them that despite what the numbers say, mathematics is really key.”

By KIT MACAVOY/V.I. Daily News