Mathletes place at state competition

Ryan Venem, Kevin Yang, Vikash Ayyapppan, Cory Roth, Anastasia Davidson and Emma Sliwinski placed 6th at State competition.

Five Cedar Falls students represented their school on Saturday, April 27, at the Iowa State Mathematics championship. Ryan Venem, Kevin Yang, Vikash Ayyappan, Anastasia Davidson and Emma Sliwinski placed 5th in the state as a team. They placed 2nd in the Power Round by 1 point. Yang came in 2nd overall in the state, with finishes in 1st in the Sprint Round and 2nd in the Target Round. Cory Roth rounded out the top 15 overall. 

This is the first year in quite some time that Cedar Falls has been represented in Iowa’s competitive math league.

Julie Kirkpatrick, the mathletes’ team coach, said she is impressed with the outcome.

“We did not have a ton of like actual practice tests, but in order to get to the state competition, you have to qualify at a qualifying meet, so we went to three qualifying meets this year, and we had six kids qualify for State. We did qualify for Regionals, which is like the national competition. Not every state participates in it, and it’s called Great Plains Math League.” 

Members of the team also competed in the American Mathematics Competition in February. Yang scored exceptionally well on the AMC 10A and qualified for the American Invitational Mathematics Exam, and then went on to compete in the Junior Mathematics Olympiad. Sliwinski also placed 1st in our school for the American Mathematics Competition 12A. She received an Einstein bobble head from the math department for her achievement.

Despite this being the first attempt at a team, they qualified for regionals in Kansas City, where teams compete from all over the world. 

“It’s not indicative, so it’s a bunch of different states, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and sometimes people from India come over,” Kirkpatrick said. “We did qualify, but since we are not sponsored through our school, I can’t take the time off to take them down, but I know that they are talking about hitching a ride with Iowa City West because they have a charter bus going down. We didn’t fundraise because this is the first year we’ve ever done this, and we didn’t think we would be this good.”

Kirkpatrick takes inspiration from her own mathlete days and said she always hoped to bring it to her job one day. 

“I actually participated as a mathlete when I was in high school at Waverly, sophomore through senior year. I was part of the mathletes, and we qualified for State and Regionals a couple years, and we went down to Kansas City, and it was just a really fun experience. It was always something I wanted to bring to wherever I was teaching. I would love for it to become an actual position for me to be a mathlete coach, and I want to expand the team next year.”

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