by Jason Chiu, Grade 9 mathematician
The Math Challengers competition began long before February 12th. The Match Challengers team spent several months, beginning in November, studying different mathematical problems. Our team this year consisted of seven members: Oliver Huang, Tom Kim, Richard Cunningham, Jeffery and Vincent Wu, Jinsu Park, and myself (unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts Richard could not join us on the competition date). We concluded the contest preparation with a presentation from Dr. Chan (a math-challengers coach with perfect winning record).
The day of the competition the five of us headed to Camosun College. My heartbeat must have been 200 beats a minute as we entered the competition room. The competition looked fierce. My heart sunk as I saw last year’s winner take his seat. After a quick explanation of the rules, we began writing. My heartbeat quicked as I flipped open the packet and began writing. After finishing the contest booklets I looked back towards my teammates, who seemed to be pretty confident, making me even more nervous.
We returned to the contest room where the “face off” match was to begin. I stared anxiously at the finalist board as they wrote out the names. I was surprised to see myself seeded as second, but even more surprised to see that our entire team had qualified for finals! Oliver Huang climbed up the finalist ladder until he was defeated by Tom Kim; but what shocked me the most was that Tom was beaten in his second round leaving him in fourth place. Unfortunately, I too lost my finals match, after a careless mistake, leaving me in 3rd place. As a team, we came in second place regionally.
I was filled with happiness from achieving the highest ranking from SMUS and third place in the competition. People might think that third place isn’t that great, but it just means I have to strive to get better. Who knows? Maybe with a little more work, I could be first too.