Math Team adds wins after succeeding in two competitions


Olivia Battles

Members of the math team discuss their success at recent meets. Currently, the team is in first place in Worcester County.

Sharada Vishwanath, Graphics Coordinator

The varsity Math Team emerged victorious in the first two Worcester County Mathematics League competitions of the 2019-2020 school year, both of which were held at Shrewsbury High School. 

The team placed first in the Oct. 2 meet, with a team score of 96 out of 108, and third in the Nov. 20 meet. The score at the October meet was the highest score since November 2017, when Algonquin scored a 97. 

“We had one of the best scores that I’ve seen as a math team coach,” varsity Math Team coach Brain Calnan said about the October meet. “We had multiple students get perfect individual scores, a perfect team round and a couple of other really high scores.” 

Scores from the four meets throughout the year are combined to get an overall standing. Currently, the team is in second overall in the Worcester district. 

“We are pushing to try to get the championship this year, so it’s off to a good start,” Calnan said. 

Each student on the team participates in three, six point rounds, with 18 total points possible per person. Students are then placed in one of three teams, and the highest scoring team will represent Algonquin’s score. 

“Usually when you put together a team you are supposed to have two juniors two senior and one sophomore, but I don’t think we had any seniors competing, our team was all juniors and sophomores,” Mathematics Department Chair Beth Dore said. “We had a really young team but still performing really well.” 

The competitions are regional and Algonquin competes in Class A which involves the best local schools such as Shrewsbury, Westborough, Hopkinton, Advanced Math & Science Academy, Mass Academy of Math and Science and St. Johns. 

“I was really worried we weren’t going to win, but we answered the questions correctly and it felt good to beat Shrewsbury,” sophomore Math Team member Stefan Linden said. 

According to Calnan, placing first is no easy feat and it can become difficult to compete with the many talented schools also in the competition. 

“There are some schools that bring large teams and really talented students and the scores tend to be really bunched together so sometimes it’s hard to come out on the top end of that,” Calnan

However, the Math Team has managed to do well consistently over the past years.

“We have won a lot individual meets, probably at least once a year for the past three or four years,” Calnan said. “The competition level is usually pretty high so our unofficial goal is to be no worse than fourth at any given meet.”

The Algonquin team has also managed to overcome their smaller team size. 

“The fact that we did so well when we only had two full teams while Mass Academy has ten teams and Worcester Academy has a ton of teams teams as well, was really impressive,” Dore said. 

For sophomore math team member Andrew Lee, who has been on the Algonquin team since seventh grade, the results from the recent meets are cause for excitement.

“I feel proud of our Algonquin Math Team,” Lee said. “We have definitely really improved from previous years.”

With many new members, the Math Team carries great potential and is excited to compete at future meets. 

“We have a lot of very talented math students, especially freshmen and sophomores so we have a young team,” Calnan said. “We feel will be able to compete for league championship this year and the next two years.”