MathCounts: Western Nebraska Students Compete

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SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb (KNEP) On Wednesday, February 12, 2020, students from all across the Nebraskan panhandle traveled to Scottsbluff to compete in the national and state-wide math competition, MathCounts.

Bluff's Middle School poses for a photo after the MathCounts competiton at Western Nebraska Community College (source: Shelby Aaberg)

The event, organized by the Nebraska Society of Professional Engineers and Western Chapter Competition brought nearly 70 students all in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades to compete and send their schools to the state finals in Omaha.

The first round brought a lot of pencil tapping and head scratching, but nothing could compare to when the second and third rounds came along.
As the students worked hard in groups, the judges were grading their tests.
After each round, the students lined up in the hall in at the Western Nebraska Community College to overlook their scores.

Each session lasted approximately forty-five minutes each.

The time had come to put the pencils down and illuminate the use of calculators. The final round narrowed down the 68 competing students down to a total of 6.

Wisley Mooc, Landen Heine, Grant Kidlow, Jacob Maser of Bluff's Middle School, Tate Thompson of St. Agnes Academy and Ethan Thyne of Mitchell Junior High remain in the final round.

Each of the six competing against the winner of the first round until they are disqualified.
A nail-biting round for all.

Fast thinking, calculations practiced with pencil and paper, no use of a calculator, and swift buzzer-hitting were the only ticket to being placed in the finals in Omaha.

In the blink of an eye, Wisley Mooc takes a seat and wins the round.

All in all, we have an incredible set of minds in the panhandle.
Each and everyone intelligent and paving the path for our communities and their future.

The ending ceremony gave way to a career-inspiring speech by the NSPE, showcasing all the career paths students could take their skills to later in life.

Some have already given thought to where they want to pursue their future careers. Some expressing an interested in teaching arithmetic, and others expressing no hesitation to taking their career to new heights and explaining, "I want to be a NASA engineer."

All the schools who competed in MathCounts in the panhandle include,
Bluff's Middle, St. Agnes Academy, Mitchell Junior High, Gering Junior High, Banner County, Bayard Public School, Alliance Middle and Kimball Junior High.

Official results:

First Place Team - Bluffs Middle School, Scottsbluff, NE,
Coach – Shelby Aaberg
Members -- Wisley Mooc – 1st Place Individual
Grant Kildow -- 5th Place Individual
Jacob Maser -- 6th Place Individual
Harrison Maser – 21st Place Individual

Second Place Team - St. Agnes Academy – Alliance, NE,
Coach – Christy Jelinek
Members – Tate Thompson – 3rd Place Individual
Matthias Benzel – 9th Place Individual
Morgan LeMunyan – 14th Place Individual
Garrett Myers – 16th Place Individual

INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS – (Top 4 Individuals not on Qualifying Team)
Landen Heine – 2nd Place Ind. -- Bluffs Middle School, Scottsbluff – Coach Shelby Aaberg
Ethan Thyne – 4th Place Ind. -- Mitchell Jr/Sr high School – Coach Russ Hamer
Natalie Peterson – 7th Place Ind. -- Gering Jr High School – Coach Lisa Blanco
Mitch Moravec – 8th Place Ind. -- Gering Jr High School – Coach Lisa Blanco

Banner Co. School – Coach Nancy Olsen
Bayard Public School – Coach Sharon Schluterbusch

First Place – Wisley Mooc – Bluffs Middle School – Coach Shelby Aaberg

Second Place – Tate Thompson – St. Agnes Academy – Coach Christy Jelinek

In the Bluff's Middle, there were two who were not able to attend the competition, and they are Nicholas Roberts, of the 6th grade and Mina Griffith of 7th grade.

You can follow the mathematicians in Omaha in the final rounds.
More information on the competition provided here: