January 23, 2018
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Bangor Math Team earns honor of Best in Maine during competitions

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BANGOR, Maine — Bangor High School has had a superior year in terms of mathematics competitions.

Bangor’s team dominated 94 other schools in Maine with the highest score in the past 20 years at the Maine State Math Meet on April 9, at the Bangor Auditorium. Bangor scored 810 points followed by Maine School of Science and Math at 725 and Fryeburg with 724. Four other teams scored in the 600s and all the rest were below. Each team has 10 students, and every student’s score counts. There are six individual rounds worth 12 points each, so 72 represents a perfect score.

Josh Audibert had a perfect score, and Nathan Dee, Leah Jones, Liam Perry, Paul Rudnicki, and Conor Thompson (ninth grade) only missed one out of 18 possible problems during the individual competition. Andy Chen, Will Benoit, Leif Grosswiler, and Chandler Stewart also did so well that all Bangor scorers were in the top 18 percent of all competitors.

However, it was in the two team rounds (16 more problems) and the relay rounds (20 more problems), where the team reached amazing heights. Of those remaining 36 problems, the Bangor team got 35 correct: hence, the highest score in a long time.

Bangor’s team was first again at the New England Math League, and 12th in New England. NEML has six contests of six problems each during the year, and Paul Rudnicki only missed two problems all year. This propelled him to be tied for eighth in New England; only two points behind the leaders.

In the regular season of Maine Association of Mathmatics League, (MAML with 155 teams), competition, Bangor High has seven teams with 170 team members. The teams have done well, with all seven in the top 40 percent, including Bangor teams comprising mostly freshmen. Also, Bangor Red was the Class A state champion, having accumulated the highest score over five contests.

Over the last few years, many international students, mostly from China, have paid tuition to come to Maine to study at the state’s private high schools predominantly. Since many are superior mathematics students, they have had a significant effect on the Math League with close to 40 percent among the statewide leaders. It is great for the local students to compete with such strong students, since clearly they will do so in college and beyond.

After the first meet in October, Bangor’s top Red team was eighth in Maine, and Fryeburg, whose highest scorers were international students, posted a near-perfect score. This was a shock to all teams in Maine, but Bangor’s students rallied, deciding that more practice would give them an edge.

Collectively, the Bangor teams set up a practice schedule, worked hard, and passed every team by the end of the year, except Fryeburg, although Bangor came close to catching them. Continuing to work hard for another month, the Red Team had a convincing win at the State Meet in April over all teams, thus laying claim as the best math team in Maine for the 2012-2013 season. There are too many Bangor students who have had worthy achievements this year to mention here, but they are certainly appreciated.

Bangor High School has defeated all schools and teams or won the State Meet or won Class A in 13 of the past 18 years. Generally, Bangor teams have been at least fourth overall out of more than 95 schools and more than 130 teams for the past 18 years, with one exception. Bangor has won 111 of 112 meets in Eastern Maine since 1995, and has been the top public school in the math league over this time.

Maine has one of the very best mathematics leagues in the country with excellent opportunities for camaraderie, competition and growth. The more than 3,000 students who participate consistently improve in the high-stakes testing that has become a fixture in college and beyond, and most have very positive memories of their math team associations. Students, teachers, school staff, administrators and parents who have worked to make this such a positive experience should be commended.