Math team places sixth at state


Courtesy of Marissa Rakes

Central’s math team competed in the state tournament at Illinois State University on April 22.

Jeremy Zhao, Print Managing Editor & Head News Editor

The Naperville Central math team placed sixth at the state tournament held at Illinois State University on April 22. This year was the first in-person State for all current members, with the last three years being virtual due to COVID-19. 

“It was a lot of fun,” senior Thomas McManamen said. McManamen joined the math team as a junior. “Last year, we [competed at Naperville Central] and submitted our times, and then went on a Zoom meeting to see the results.”

McManamen competed at state as an individual senior and a member of the junior/senior 8-person team. Other events include calculator team, two-person team and an orals team, where competitors explain a math concept to judges. 

Several of Central’s events placed in the top ten, and the freshman/sophomore 8-person team won state. 

“We had a really great season this year,” head coach Marissa Rakes said. “This was the first year ever that we won [the Dupage Valley Conference (DVC)].” 

The team regularly competes in the Northern Suburban Math League. Leading up to DVC, regionals and state, the individual teams will “start doing morning practices,” Rakes said. 

While some see solving math problems only on an individual level, McManamen explained that collaboration is very present on the math team. 

“I really enjoy the math team,” he said. “I think a big part of that is being able to talk about the questions and collaborate with other people. Even on the individuals, we can talk about the questions and compare our methods, which I think really helps us improve.”