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Winners of 2010 MATHCOUNTS State Math Competition

Top individual winners of the 2010 state MATHCOUNTS competition (in order of finish) are:

1. Ian McMeeking, St. John the Evangelist, Rochester, 
2. Kevin Lu, Valley View Middle School, Edina
3. Colin Finnegan, Capitol Hill Magnet School, St. Paul
4. William Zeng, Oak Grove Middle School, Bloomington

These four won top honors from among 122 participants representing 37 schools at the 27th annual competition held Saturday, March 13, at the Radisson Conference Center in Plymouth.

The four students form the state team that will represent Minnesota at Disney World in Florida, May 6-9, to compete in the national MATHCOUNTS competition against teams from throughout the United States.

Placing fifth and sixth were:
5. Yitz Deng, Central Middle School, Eden Prairie
6. Leighton Zhao, Wayzata Central Middle School, Plymouth

Top team honors

The first place team at the meet was: Valley View Middle School, Edina

Members of the first place team are (from left) Amos Frank, Lilly Bendel-Stenzel, Coach Margaret Grivna, Cindy Jiang and Kevin Lu.

As coach of the winning school team, Grivna will coach the State Team that is going to the National Finals.

The other top teams at the State meet were:

2. Capitol Hill Magnet School, St. Paul
3. Wayzata Central Middle School, Plymouth
4. Buffalo Community School, Buffalo
5. Wayzata East Middle School, Plymouth
6. Willmar Middle School, Willmar
7. Blake Middle School, Hopkins
8. St. John the Evangelist Middle School, Rochester
9. Lake Harriet Community School, Minneapolis
10. Kellogg Middle School, Rochester

Winners of the Countdown Round were:

First Place: Ian McMeeking, St. John the Evangelist
Second Place: Kevin Lu
Third Place: Aaron Hamman, Buffalo Community School
Fourth Place: Ryan Bowers, Buffalo Community School

More information about the MATHCOUNTS program can be found on the organization's Web site at

Program Background


Teams consist of four students coached by a math teacher or in some cases a volunteer. Individuals also participate, qualifying by being one of the top scorers in regional competition. Whether on a team or competing as an individual, all participants are eligible to  be on the State Team that goes to National.


The Sprint Round (40 minutes) consists of 30 problems. This round tests accuracy, with time being such that only the most capable students will complete all of the problems. Calculators are not permitted.

The Target Round (approximately 30 minutes) consists of eight problems presented to competitors in four pairs (6 minutes per pair). This round features multi?step problems that engage Mathletes in mathematical reasoning and problem-solving processes. Problems assume the use of calculators.

The Team Round (20 minutes) consists of 10 problems that team members work together to solve. Team member interaction is permitted and encouraged. Problems assume the use of calculators.

The Countdown Round is a fast-paced, oral competition for top-scoring individuals (based on scores in the Sprint and Target Rounds). In this round, pairs of Mathletes compete against each other and the clock to solve problems. Calculators are not permitted.

Purpose of the program and history:

MATHCOUNTS is an enrichment, coaching and competition program that promotes middle school and junior high mathematics. 

Volunteer members of the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE) coordinate  the program in Minnesota. 

It is one of the oldest and most successful education partnerships, involving volunteers, educators, industry sponsors and students. In Minnesota, MATHCOUNTS has been reaching out to students and teachers since 1983. The first State Meet was held in 1984 in Minnesota with 12 teams participating.

Each year, more than 1,000 Minnesota students participate in the program. They tell us this experience is often one of the most memorable and fun of their middle school years. 

The program combines the use of MATHCOUNTS curriculum material and competitions, which challenge students? math skills, develop self-confidence and reward achievement.

MATHCOUNTS influences students at an age when they are formulating attitudes about math. The program?s timing in the educational process is selected to impact students when they can still elect to take the appropriate math courses through high school, preparing them for college and math-oriented careers. 

MATHCOUNTS heightens student interest in math by making achievement as challenging, exciting and prestigious as a school sport.  MATHCOUNTS challenges students? math skills, develops their self-confidence and rewards them for their achievements.

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