Sonoran Science Academy Mathletes have proven they can come through when it counts by placing first as a team in the MathCounts Southern Arizona regional competition, held Feb. 26, and earning individual honors, including a first-place win, at the state competition on March 25.
More than 100 students from across Southern Arizona competed in the regional event, with SSA taking first place as a team for the fifth consecutive year and six SSA middle school students ranking in the top 10.
Individual winners in the regional event were seventh-grader David Wang in first place, followed closely by seventh-grader Sloan Kanaski in second place. Eighth-grader Arrick Benson placed fifth, with fellow eighth-graders Chris Cushman and Tristan Loveday placing sixth and eighth, respectively, and seventh-grader Khalid Ahmed placing ninth.
“With our school’s reputation for math success and the previous wins at MathCounts, the pressure was on, but every team member did a great job, and they earned their place at the state competition, as well as in our trophy cabinet,” said team coach Ismail Koksal.
At the state-level competition, Sloan Kanaski took first place, which qualifies him for the national competition, to be held in early May in Washington D.C.
David Wang placed sixth. Arrick Benson and Chris Cushman also played their part, with the team missing first place by just 0.75 points.
“While everyone is disappointed at losing by such a small margin, we are happy to let our sister school, Paragon Science Academy, hold the trophy for this year,” said Koksal.
Currently in its 28th year, MathCounts is the country’s largest and most successful education partnership involving volunteers, educators, industry sponsors and students. President Barack Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald W. Reagan have all recognized the organization in White House ceremonies.