Lexington Christian Academy’s Students Compete for a Piece of the New England Invitational Math Tournament Pi

I saw the State and New England tournaments as our chance to step out from under the long shadows cast by our extraordinary neighbors in MML.

After a busy school day and at the end of a grueling week, the last thing most students would want to do is spend three hours working out high-level math problems. But on Friday, April 28th, just as they had done all year, six students from Lexington Christian Academy (LCA) piled into a van bound for Canton High School. There, they joined students from 40 other schools for the 45th annual New England Invitational Math Competition.

Simply being invited to the tournament was the culmination of many months of hard work for the fledgling team from LCA, which joined the Massachusetts Math League (MML) as the newest team in Division Six earlier this year. From the first divisional meet in October, it was clear that the students would be facing an uphill climb. The team found itself grouped with perennial powerhouse schools like Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Canton High School, and Lexington High School.

“I was amazed at the level of talent from the other schools in our division. They earned perfect scores on so many individual rounds, and sometimes even the team round!” exclaimed sophomore Tim Zhou (Lexington, MA), who also serves as Captain of the Math Team. Tim rallied student support throughout the 2015–2016 school year in order to get a math team formed, funded, and recognized as an official student club group.

The team consistently placed in fifth out of seven teams during regular season Meets against the large, veteran public schools in its home division. However, as they continued to press onwards, the young team from LCA eventually finished 8th overall out of the 42 schools in the MML and secured a spot in the State Meet as the highest-scoring “Small” sized institution. They were invited to the State Meet in Shrewsbury on April 3rd to compete against other similarly sized, but unfamiliar schools from the Greater Boston Math League, Western Massachusetts Math League, and more.

“The grouping of schools based on enrollment size was a revelation to me,” remarked coach Max Xu. “I saw the State and New England tournaments as our chance to step out from under the long shadows cast by our extraordinary neighbors in MML. Compared to us they seemed simply massive, with student bodies numbering in the thousands and legendary coaches with decades of experience under their belts.”

During the State Meet, LCA ultimately placed 4th in the “Small” School Division, earning a ticket to the New England Invitational Math Tournament. This marked the first time in the MML’s 45 year history that a school from Massachusetts made it to the New England Tournament during…

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