The Mahomet-Seymour math team has put the rest of the state on notice. They're back. The Bulldogs' math squad won the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics regional last Saturday at Parkland College with a school-record 834 points.
M-S won 14 of the 15 events and shellacked Paxton-Buckley-Loda (487) and Unity (297). The Bulldogs accumulated 114 more points than any other Division 2A school in the state, and they'll be serious contenders for a state championship at the University of Illinois on May 4.
"It means a lot," M-S coach Eric Potter said. "Both winning our specific regional, and the fact that statewide we had the highest overall score in our division. The kids put in a ton of work preparing for this competition, and from a coaching perspective, it is nice to see all the hard work pay off."
Senior Nick Morrow had a huge day, winning first place in three different categories. Individually, Morrow was first in pre-calculus. Then, he teamed up with Jessica Berkman, Cassidy Waldrep, Michal Strzebonski, Saloni Patel and Archi Patel to take first place in the pre-calculus team category.
Finally, Seth Honnigford, Colten Brunner, Lizzie Stremming and Gavin Williams joined Morrow, Waldrep, Strzebonski and Berkman to win the junior/senior eight-person team title.
"Nick was the highest-scoring senior on our team, winning first in the regional," Potter said. "Probably his biggest contribution, as well as the other seniors, is his commitment to math team over the last four years and setting the expectations high for our team."
Honnigford captured the title in algebra 2. Mike Taylor and Ella Tietz tied for first in geometry. M-S' eight-man team of freshman and sophomores took first place, as well as its calculator team.
Emma and Sarah Amjad combined to take first place in the oral presentation section. Morrow and Strzebonski teamed up for the junior/senior two-person crown. Taylor and Katya Sakhartova dominated in the freshman/sophomore two-person category.
"(I'm) very proud," Potter said. "They are a great group this year and overall work hard. The seniors have been a core group of kids that have already won two state math championships. The incoming freshmen are a very talented group who just love math. I usually give the kids two to three weeks off after regionals, and the freshmen wouldn't have it. They wanted to keep coming in to practice."
Potter compiled six-person teams for pre-calculus, algebra 2, geometry and algebra 1, and the Bulldogs won first place in each category. It was a thorough dominance, and the youngsters stepped up.
The M-S freshmen scored 134 points as a team, the most in the state.
"There is always uncertainty with a new group of incoming freshmen, but this year they surpassed all expectations," Potter said. "All of our teams, including the eight-person teams and two-person teams and calculator team and oral presentation team, did great!"
M-S will use the next couple months to prepare for state. They know the competition will be even better, but with a dominant performance in regionals, everyone in the state will be wary of the Bulldogs.