Buchholz math team hopes to keep streak alive
Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.
The Buchholz High School math team is going for a record.
Fifty-four of the school's whiz kids are heading to Orlando on Thursday to compete in the state Mu Alpha Theta championship, where the team will attempt to become the first school to win nine state championships in a row.
The pressure is on — last month, the team lost its first competition during a regular season in six years.
"I think people out there who've been working hard to try to catch us are feeling energized," said Will Frazer, the team's coach.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, from Parkland, currently holds the record with 10 state championships in 11 years.
The Buchholz team will compete all day Friday and Saturday in three divisions.
Students participate in four-person hustle rounds, where they'll race the clock to answer 125 questions; and three-person relay rounds, with team members completing problems and passing turns to each other.
After about 45 rounds, the winner will be announced Saturday night.
"It's pretty intense," Frazer said.
About 1,200 high school students from 60 Florida schools will compete.
Two teams pose a serious challenge to Buchholz's goal: American Heritage High School, a private school from Delray Beach; and Seminole High School, from Sanford.
Frazer said he thinks Buchholz is still favored to win.
The Buchholz Mu Alpha Theta team will attempt another record in July, when 45 students attend the national math competition in San Diego. Buchholz has won the past six national Mu Alpha Theta competitions.
Math team president Jennifer Li, 17, will graduate before the national competition, so this weekend is her last event with Mu Alpha Theta at Buchholz.
She said she'll be sad to leave the team, but knows they'll do well at the competition.
"We put in hard work all year, and state will show how we've worked hard and what we've done," she said.