Last month, the Greenhill MATHCOUNTS team (Tim Csallner ’28, Bryan Kuang ’28, Evan Tsai ’28, and Lucas Zhu ’28) participated in the very competitive Preston Trail Chapter competition.
The competition included 21 official school teams – each comprised of a quartet of students – competing alongside 127 individual students (some from the same schools, some from schools without an official team, and some who are home-schooled) for a total of 211 participants.
The top six teams and the top 10 players not on those official teams would qualify for the State competition. Some schools will have as many as ten players (four on the official team and six individuals) while others, like Greenhill, only brought four players in total.
The team, led by coach Jason Zuffranieri, performed well with Evan Tsai finishing in 19th place, Bryan Kuang in 32nd, Tim Csallner 57th, and Lucas Zhu in 74th. While no individual awards were earned, the team performed so well on their individual tests, that the collective team qualified for the Texas State Competition this month.
This accomplishment is even more impressive considering this team has only been working together for a little over two months, while most teams around the country have been practicing since August, if not longer. In fact, the Greenhill students were so interested in being a part of the school team that, unlike most activities, the students recruited the coach instead of the other way around.
A special thanks to all who made it possible for the team to participate in this competition — Susan Palmer, Middle School Math Department Chair Miriam Lang, and the boys’ parents, who have been abundantly supportive of their math hobby this year and throughout their lives.
The national program, open to sixth- through eighth-grade students, is dedicated to cultivating students’ love of math. The Chapter competitions (each Chapter covers a city or a portion of a big city like Dallas) are the first of three scholastic competitions for MATHCOUNTS students — top performers at each Chapter competition advance to the State competition, and top performers at State go to Nationals in May.
Each competition has four rounds: the Sprint test, the Target test, the Team round, and the Countdown round. In the two test rounds, students work by themselves answering 30 questions in 40 minutes without a calculator (Sprint round) or four pairs of questions over six minutes/pair with a calculator (Target round).
For the Team round, teams of four work together to solve a set of 10 questions with the use of a calculator. The Countdown round is unofficial for qualification purposes but is very exciting, as the top-scoring students over the Sprint/Target tests face off, head-to-head, in a series of quick-thinking math problems in front of the audience of other players, coaches, parents, and officials.
Congratulations to the team for their success so far and good luck at State and beyond!