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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 14, 2024


March 22, 2002 – Months of study and fortitude added up to victory on Thursday for the Country Day School team mathletes and four individual V.I. students who will all represent the territory in the National MathCounts Competition in Chicago in June.
The Country Day team, which had placed first in St. Croix district competition in February, bested Sts. Peter and Paul School, the St. Thomas-St. John District champions, after hours of grueling concentration. The championship was played out on the winner's home turf, at the Country Day School Pavilion.
The winning team mathletes are Ryan Burke, James Hunter, Nichole Hutchins and Yannick Polius.
Nichole, an 8th grader, also emerged as the top finisher in the separate individual competition among eight student finalists from the district events. For the individual contest in Chicago, she'll be joined by three St. Thomas mathletes — Luke Kuhr of Sts. Peter and Paul, Giresh Mirpuri of Antilles School and Mikel McDonald of All Saints Cathedral School.
The results of the team competition gives Country Day's coach, Kate Baker, the assignment of coaching the Virgin Islands "state" team that will go to the nationals.
Antilles Upper School Principal Jay Buckley said he was ecstatic about Giresh's accomplishment. "I don't think the school could be more proud," he said. As for Giresh's own response, "He was just grinning from ear to ear," Buckley said. "I don't think it's sunk in just yet."
Nichole's mother, Sue Hutchins, said she is confident the V.I. mathletes will do well as they compete against hundreds of students representing the nation's states and other territories. "The kids are so intelligent," she said of the Country Day team members. "Ms. Baker did a great job with Nichole."
Competition is nothing new for Nichole, who will turn 14 on Monday. In fact, two weeks after the Mathcounts finals, she will be off to Curacao to compete as a member of the Virgin Islands "national" swim team. An avid swimmer whose favorite event is the butterfly, she began swimming with the Country Day School Dolphins at the age of 2 and has been a member of the V.I. team since she was 11. But she is just as competitive when it comes to math, and "is definitely looking forward to Chicago," her mom said.
MathCounts is a coaching and competition program for middle school students nationwide. Students who enjoy working as part of a team and solving problems are encouraged to get involved at their schools. See the MathCounts web site for more information. Volunteers are always welcome to help with organizing, public relations, fund-raising and other aspects of the program. To learn more, contact any of the territory's middle or junior high schools.

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