Math Team To Take On State


The Niles West Math Team before leaving for the state competition at UIUC last year.

By Pavle Vuksanovic, Staff Writer

The highlight and goal of any student on the Math Team is to make it to the coveted ICTM state competition and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The past three years the Niles West math team has been able to qualify a large group of students to attend the state competition, and this year is no exception.

Closing off a strong season, the Math Team qualified at least twenty-two students for the state competition for five different events. As well, in the NSML season, the team pulled off a second place finish in the Wang division. Now, especially for seniors who have gone to state all four years, the approaching competition is nerve-racking and exciting as the team hopes to do well.

Robert Nortillo, the team’s head coach, has aspirations for great placings at state following such a great season.

“We have teams competing in five different events at the state meet, and I would like to see some of those teams finish in the top ten. None did at Regionals, but several were very close so we definitely have a shot,” Nortillo said. “I also think we could see a few individuals earning medals at state, so I’m hoping that will come to pass as well.”

For underclassmen especially, the upcoming event is a great experience and great practice for the future. With hopes to place well this year, and years in advance, sophomore Christian Montgomery looks back to learn about how to look forward to the end of the season.

“The NSML season was a lot like last year, with much of the same events and challenges,” Montgomery said. “I felt like I had a better idea of how to prepare than last year, and most of the sophomores improved as well. We had some new additions to the team, and I think we’ll be heading into a strong finish at state.”

However, it isn’t all smooth sailing. The state competition comes at a very conflict-ridden time at the end of the year, with some notable conflicts this year including sectionals for boys gymnastics and the science fair state competition. Similarly, with very involved students, conflicts were bound to arise. Senior Nehemiah Wong, who shares time between math team and gymnastics, hopes it would’ve been different.

“Historically, most people on math team have other commitments that interfere with our math team schedule. Because most of our seniors missed many practices due to conflicts, we didn’t do as well as we had hoped. Hopefully, the future seniors can try to resolve time conflicts and study harder than we did,” Wong said.

Leaving for the state competition on Friday, May 3, and staying overnight, the team is as excited as ever to spend time with friends and perform well.