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John Marshall Math Team scores big at state tournament

John Marshall Math Team scores big at state tournament

The John Marshall Math Team retained its status as one of the elite math squads in the state at the 33rd annual Minnesota State High School Mathematics League State Tournament.

The JM Math Team finished 4th in the state for the second straight year, scoring an all-time school record 109 points at the meet. There are 175 math teams across the state, with 38 teams attending Monday's state tournament at South St. Paul High School.

"Students on the team put in countless hours over nights and weekends in preparation for the five meets throughout the year and for the state competition," said coach Jake Johnson, a math teacher at John Marshall. "I do not think it is an understatement to say that students on the varsity team probably have spent at least 100 hours working together as a team. This number doesn’t even include the time they each spend studying individually."

The JM Math Team has grown steadily over the past few years. It now has around 40 members, making it one of the largest and most active groups in the state — putting it in the ranks of top Twin Cities' teams such as Edina, Wayzata and Eden Prairie.

This year's varsity team includeded the following students: Nikhil Marda, Timothy Alexander, Calvin Blume, Ben Dirstine, Pranav Anandarao, Molly Sadecki, Stephen Akin and Katie Hoelzer.

In addition to helping lead the JM Math Team, senior Nikhil Marda won the individual state tournament title with a perfect score. According to the district, he was one of 70 students who qualified for the tournament out of approximately 3,000 across the state.

"Nikhil’s accomplishment as individual tournament champion is incredible," Johnson told the Med City Beat. "He really had an amazing season. He was Big 9 conference champion as an individual, and had a perfect state tournament. As a senior, he completes an amazing high school math career."

Nikhil will be joined by teammate, and fellow all-state member, Timothy Alexander in moving on to the national tournament, which is scheduled for June 3 at the University of Iowa.

Cover photo courtesy Rochester Public Schools

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