Mathleague places first, sets sights on future competitions


Photo by Abby Blitz

Katie Whaley

Off the bleachers and away from the gymnasiums and football field, students are competing — and winning — in various competitions. One team specifically is the Mathleague, which most recently placed first at the California High School Math Relays.
Team sponsor Kevin Taylor sees the win as exciting, but gains the most satisfaction when students who have never competed in mathematics win an award.
“Mathleague contests are very challenging. RBHS is fortunate to have several students on the team that can do well on those tests,” Taylor said. “There are four different styles of testing covering a variety of topics from number theory to geometry. The topics of these tests often include topics not taught in a math class.”
The events are like Math Counts competitions from middle school, Taylor said. He recommends students who enjoy math should join.
“I was asked [to join] by Mr. Taylor and because I have a passion for math because I hope to become an actuary, which is similar to an accountant,” Honors Precalculus student junior Shawn Lucas said. “Math has been easy for me to understand since I was a kid, so it made sense for me to try and learn higher level math through this club.”
Senior Kevin Kiehne joined because of his passion for math. Even though he is not as active this year as he wanted, Kiehne still roots for the team’s success.
“Math has always been something I’m good at and math competitions are so different than just regular math class,” Kiehne said. “It’s interesting to see how I compare to other students as well as give myself a real challenge that I don’t always get from regular math classes.”
Team members hope to make it to state competitions, and through practice Friday mornings, Taylor thinks they can make it.
“If you are getting an A in your math class, you know how you compare in your class, but it’s a whole new exciting level when you find out how you compare against students from other schools, especially when you earn medals and trophies,” Taylor said. “One thing the school can do to support us in the future is give more recognition to the math team during assemblies.”