Story and photo by Grace Ellis ’21

For nearly four years, the Marian Mathletes, members of Marian’s math team, have competed in a series of math competitions across the state. Their goal? To stay positive—as depicted on their matching red t-shirts—and to have some fun.

Math Club moderator Ms. Megan Han has been training the girls for three years now. Every month, Han meets with the Mathletes in order to best prepare them for the upcoming competitions. 

“In the fall, our meetings are practices for the competitions. Once those are over, our general meetings are to discuss interesting math topics and play fun math games,” Han said. As for right now, the main focus of the Math Club meetings is to prepare for the competitions. 

Freshman Math Club member Elizabeth Foreman has been participating in math competitions for five years now. Foreman participated in Marian’s middle school math tournament last year and has decided to continue her competition career in high school.

“I am so excited to go to my first high school math competition!” Foreman said. “I know it will be a lot harder than grade school competitions, but I’m looking forward to being introduced to new topics I can study outside of class.”

On Oct. 25, nearly 20 of the Mathletes, attended their first competition of the year: the Problem-Solving Contest at the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO). The Mathletes were accompanied by math tutor Ms. Jessica Abel. 

The team began with a few preliminary rounds consisting of two problem-solving tests and a speed round. The girls worked alone for this portion of the competition.

After a short pizza break, the girls worked on the Data Analysis Test as a team. This test consisted of five critical thinking problems with a wide variety of data. The girls worked for nearly an hour on this test, even taking out their shoelaces to complete a measuring problem.

Later, the team split into groups and completed another test in teams of four to five mathletes.

“It was a radical time” junior Katie Liske said.

To end the day, the girls watched the top-ten participants compete in a head-to-head speed round. While none of the Marian girls participated in this event, they still cheered on the mathletes from other schools.

Overall, Marian placed 17th out of 32 teams, winning first place on the Data Analysis Test. Senior Daisy Owens placed fourth on the 12th grade individual test and Foreman placed fifth on the ninth grade individual test.

“I think that we all worked very well together and did the best that we could,” junior Casey Brattain said. “In the end, it worked out for us, and we did pretty good!”

The Mathletes will compete at Math Day at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL) on Nov. 15.