Marticville student a top finisher in Math Counts

Marticville Middle School eighth-grader Nicholas Fafel earned one of the highest scores of nearly 200 students who participated in the recent Math Counts regional competition.

Nicholas placed fourth overall in the Feb. 22 problem-solving contest, which included 192 students from Lancaster, Lebanon, Adams and York county schools. He now will compete in the statewide Math Counts competition March 7 and 8 in Harrisburg.

Marticville’s Ryan Shirk also was one of the top finishers, placing 23rd. Other members of the Marticville Math Counts team are Reed Morrison, Christopher Trussel, Henry Ginder and Nathaniel Metzler.

The competition, which is open to students in grades six through eight, is broken into four parts.

In the Sprint Round, students must complete 30 problems in 40 minutes without a calculator. In the Target Round, participants get four sets of two problems and must solve each pair within six minutes. The top competitors then face off in the Countdown Round, where problems are projected on a screen and must be solved within 45 seconds without calculators. In the Team Round, students collaborate to solve 10 questions in 20 minutes.

Catie Zalit, a Marticville math teacher who coaches the school’s Math Counts team, said the team members “have shown a dedication to academics and a true talent in math.”

Nicholas “is a distinguished problem-solver,” she said. “He takes his time to critically think through challenging problems and find the correct solution.”  In addition to his ability to excel in a high-stakes testing environment like a Math Counts competition, Nicholas “is an excellent student!” Zalit said.

Best of luck in Harrisburg!