Feb. 26, 2004 – Pencils moved furiously on Thursday as students competed to solve mathematical problems in the annual district Mathcounts competition, held at Palms Court Harbourview Hotel.
Individually and as four-member teams, the 75 students hailing from a dozen public and private junior high, middle and elementary schools on St. Thomas and St. John raced to solve problems as their parents and other supporters looked on . For each, the goal was to advance to the territorial competition, to vie with the St. Croix district winners.
At day's end, Antilles School, last year's champion, emerged once again as the team winner.
"I was really surprised, because I didn't think we got all those questions right," Antilles team member Ronnie Moorehead said.
Antilles' math coach, Michele Humphries, said she was excited by the win.
"We really, really would like the St. Thomas team to beat the St. Croix team, because it hasn't happened in a long while," Humphries said.
Antilles School will face off against John H. Woodson Junior High School in the territorial competition March 18 on St. Croix. Woodson won the St. Croix district competition earlier this year.
The other schools placing in the top five of Thursday's competition were: All Saints Cathedral School, second; Sts. Peter and Paul School, third; Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School, fourth; and V.I. Montessori School, fifth. Receiving special recognition was first-time participant Pine Peace School, which placed sixth.
In the individual part of the competition Harry Lenahan of Antilles School finished in first place. He also was last year's individual winner.
Harry, who had confidently expressed his hope to win again, said at the end: "Yes, I did it!"
The top 10 winners of the individual round were: Harry, Ronnie Moorehead, Brian Oldfield of Antilles, Megan McGrath of Antilles, Sabina Constantin of All Saints, Zan Schmidt of Antilles, Isaac Lalich of Pine Peace, Nick Schmidt of Antilles, Imani Daniel of All Saints, and Alain Brin of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Megan, Sabina, Zan and Isaac will compete in St. Croix in the individual portion of the state competition.
Students may compete both on teams and as individuals at the district level. However, school team members are not eligible to participate as individuals in the territorial competition. The four students who will represent the district as individuals are those with the highest scores who were not also competing as school team members.
Also participating in Thursday's competition were Addelita Cancryn Junior High School, Joseph Gomez Elementary School, Julius E. Sprauve School, Leonard Dober Elementary School, Peace Corps Elementary School and Ulla Muller Elementary School.
Ludence Romney, Education Department district mathematics coordinator, said he was pleased with the increased participation of the schools.
Romney, who has directed the competition since 1990, said: "Back in those times, we used to have three schools participating — Antilles, Cancryn and All Saints. We've grown tremendously. Actually, next year this room may not be big enough."
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