Owls Top State Mu Alpha Theta

Twenty-three Owl mathletes traveled to Oak Ridge High School April 5-6 for the Mu Alpha Theta State Convention and came away the Overall Sweepstakes winner for the second year in a row!
“We set the tone in the first competition by throwing all 23 bodies at 40 questions on the Interschool Competition,” Mathematics Co-chair Darin Clifft said. “Albert Ding ’26, the MUS Mu Alpha Theta president, organized students into five groups to handle the five different sections and made sure we secured the win.”

The competitors racked up seven more first-place finishes in the Chalk Talk, Ciphering, Individual, Mental Math, and Speed Math categories, and Michael Liu ’25 was elected state secretary for next year.

Some obscure science questions – “How many letters are in the last name of the first female commander of the International Space Station?” – halted the Math Bowl teams in the semifinals, Clifft said. “But that couldn’t stop us from winning the Overall Sweepstakes.”

As for the rest-stop and dining news: “We stopped for the second year in a row at McKay’s in Nashville and came away with Hulk comics, a Rubik’s cube, a Nintendo Wii game, a board game, and several Nerf guns,” Clifft said. “It was Opry Mills Mall Food Court in Nashville for lunch and the ever-popular Buc-ee’s in Crossville for snacks.”

In the weeks leading up to the competition, Mrs. Nancy Gates, Dr. Steve Gadbois, and Clifft were instrumental in preparing the boys with Monday-afternoon practices and a last Good Friday practice – all organized by Albert Ding.

All in all, the advance preparation, the junk food treats, and the fun-time breaks proved an effective strategy. 

Following are the team’s results:

1st Place Chalk Talk Mu (Calculus division): Wills Frazer ’25
1st Place Chalk Talk Alpha (Precalculus division): Ethan Zhao ’26
1st Place Chalk Talk Theta (Algebra II division): Henry Phan ’26

1st Place Ciphering Mu (Calculus division): Dannie Dong ’24 
3rd Place Ciphering Mu (Calculus division): Alan Zhou ’24 
2nd Place Ciphering Alpha (Precalculus division): Ashwin Subramaniam ’26 
3rd Place Ciphering Alpha (Precalculus division): Ethan Zhao ’26 
2nd Place Ciphering Theta (Algebra II division): Abdullah Khawaja ’27 
3rd Place Ciphering Theta (Algebra II division): Henry Phan ’26

3rd Place Mu Individual (Calculus division): Parth Patel ’24 
1st Place Theta Individual (Algebra II division): Henry Phan ’26
3rd Place Theta Individual (Algebra II division): Abdullah Khawaja ’27

1st Place Speed Math: Dannie Dong ’24  
3rd Place Speed Math: Alan Cheng ’25

1st Place Mental Math: Dannie Dong ’24

1st Place Interschool Contest – Team
3rd Place History of Math – Team
3rd Place Poster – Team
3rd Place Math Bowl (tie): Alan Cheng ’25, Gabe Chen ’24, Albert Ding ’26, Dannie Dong ’24
3rd Place Math Bowl (tie): Bryan Ding ’24, Kushal Patel ’25, Parth Patel ’24, Ethan Zhao ’26