Math team adds win after win

Huntley’s math team takes first place at Jan. 28 invite.


Courtesy of Laura Jenkins

The math team poses with their first-place trophy.

By Nicolette Radzinski

The 2:26 p.m. bell sees most students rushing out towards the school parking lot to get home for the day. However, there is a handful who turn the other way to do the one thing most students dread: math.

The math team has been established for more than 20 years, yet it is overlooked by the majority of the student body. Many dismiss it easily as extra work, but for the members of the team, it is more than just math and extra practice. 

“Math team is really fun, the people are very nice and welcoming and although the math questions are a lot more difficult than they are in curricular math, the challenge makes it more fun,” junior member Ainsley Robbins said.

With the large community aspect, the team provides an opportunity for many to continue a subject that they hold an interest in and succeed outside of class. It also allows them to work with peers to better themselves.  

“It’s fun to meet up with people who are at the same level or even higher than you in mathematics. You learn from each other to study high-level math that you’re not going to find anywhere else besides math team.”

But with the Fox Valley Conference and regionals approaching, members are getting down to business. The math team meets consist of more than just simple tests and are layered based on skill. There are plenty of individual events that are either team-based or individual. 

“So, we have the first round that is all individual, [and] everyone takes it,” team sponsor Laura Jenkins said. “Those get collected, and they go to the next round.”

This is where the events get intense. The next round features a partner and timed event where you raise your hand when you receive the right answer, and the less time you take, the more points are allotted. From there, teams are intermixed and broken down even further for a wide range of skills.

Huntley’s math team is strong in more than just academics. With the events taking the four top scores, the team’s large number of members tends to be one of their top strengths. Not filling in all the required spaces can result in zeros, as seen in the low numbers during the pandemic. Making sure every spot is filled gives the team a better chance of scoring high. 

Despite the large numbers, each math team member has an outlook that is key for collaboration and problem-solving. 

“They really have a great attitude and are willing to fight through tough problems,” Jenkins said. “There are only some who are willing to fight through a really hard problem until you get it.” 

The upcoming days mark a turning point for team members as they placed first in their last high school meet before regionals and potentially state. However, with three wins under her belt this season, Jenkins seems to be feeling the opposite of nervous. 

“I’m feeling kind of confident. We’ve won our first [three] meets, the Grant one and our invite, so I’m feeling pretty confident,” Jenkins said. 

The team was right to feel confident, especially with their Jan. 28 first-place win at Hononegah High School. The team has come a long way in the 2022-23 season, and with the Fox Valley Conference just around the corner and regionals right after, there is no doubt that their 3-0 season will only get better.