On March 4, 125 students from nine area high schools assembled at Waynflete for the Pi-Cone South “Portland Large” divisional math meet—the fifth meet of the year and the third time that the school has hosted in the past four years.
Waynflete “mathletes” have participated in Maine Association of Math League meets for the past decade. This year, teacher David Neilan served as emcee; Lisa Kramer, Drew Dubuque, and Steve Withers fulfilled the roles of steely-eyed proctors; and Jim Deterding stepped in as team coach and scorer. Tom Campbell was the meet director. As in previous years, Waynflete student volunteers served as hosts and runners.
Students completed three-problem sets in five 12-minute rounds and a larger team round. “Math meets are decidedly not spectator events,” said Tom, “but our two ten-student teams worked through some interesting and fun challenges.” Going into this week’s competition, Waynflete’s A squad was in first place in the Portland Large division and 14th in the state. Valerie Geldenhuys ’20 and Yiheng He ’21 are currently ranked in the top 40 in the state.
To compete successfully, schools as small as Waynflete need students who are talented, motivated, and willing to practice. We have them! The team gathers weekly during Friday activity periods to practice the types of problems that they will encounter in upcoming meets. They also observe a tradition of getting together for a pizza party and practice in Tom’s classroom the evening before each event.