Junior high math competitors, pictured following the MathCounts competition.

The MathCounts competition was able to be held this year despite the pandemic, but it was done following new protocols. In previous years there was a chapter contest and winners of that advanced to the state tournament in the Cities. 

The top four competitors there advanced to the national competition. These competitions included a Sprint round with 40 questions, a Target round of eight problem-solving questions, a Team test, and a Countdown round in which students buzz in to answer questions, explained Pelican Rapids school math coach Lisa Petznick.

 This year the contests consisted only of the Sprint and Target rounds for individuals. There was no team competition. 

The chapter event was held on February 5th. Charlie Larson scored a 29 to earn second place in the chapter and advance to a new Invitational contest. Brody Syverson was close behind him with a 26, which tied for sixth place. 

The top six mathletes advanced to the invitational meet. Due to tie-breakers, Syverson finished in seventh place and just missed advancing to the next level. Linea Thomas scored a 19 and Maclain Hovland earned 18 points to also earn top-20 honors. Right behind him were Willem Pesch, Hani Bashir, Hunter Hanson, Dylan Hoadley, Harley Jacobson, and Kirra Johnson.  

At the invitational contest on February 25th, Larson scored a 20 on the more challenging tests to place fifth. This excellent score earned him a chance to compete in the state tournament which was held on March 25. Rather than competing in the Cities alongside the top mathematicians in the state, he again did the competition online in a classroom at Pelican Rapids High School. Larson earned 16 points on the tough tests, which earned him 56th place in the state. 

This was the final event of a remarkable season for our junior high mathletes.