Nebraska ‘mathletes’ flex their muscles and win a trip to the national math contest | Education

Four middle schoolers from Nebraska had the chance to compete for national math glory.

Viet Lai, Evan Sun, Jay Peng and Jayanth Athipatla were the top four in the Nebraska MATHCOUNTS competition on Saturday.

Students from Omaha and Lincoln will compete as teams representing the state at the national competition May 7-9 in Washington, D.C.

The MATHCOUNTS competition is not for the faint-hearted, as students race against time to solve mind-boggling problems.

The state competition features students who have progressed from chapter competitions across Nebraska.

Lai, of Hazel Scott Middle School at Lincoln Public Schools, finished in first place overall in the state competition after the sprint and target events.

Sun, from Peter Kiewit Middle School of Millard Public Schools, was in second place. Sun also won the Countdown, a quiz-show style oral event where problems are projected onto a screen and two students compete to see who can buzz with the correct answer.

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Peng of Lincoln Public Schools Marilyn Moore High School was third and Athipatla of Elkhorn Valley View Middle School of Elkhorn Public Schools was fourth.

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Their coaches for the national competition will be Allan Rezac of Hazel Scott Middle School and Kelly Rinehart of Peter Kiewit Middle School. The team receives an all-expenses-paid trip, courtesy of Raytheon Corporation. Chapter and state competitions are sponsored by the Nebraska Society of Professional Engineers.

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