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Sixth graders earn second place at state Math is Cool competition

The winning mathletes are, from left to right, Tera Jane Ripley, Zoe Sackman, Lauren Houston, Zach Wall, Teddy Atwell and their coach, Gordon Millar. - Courtesy photo
The winning mathletes are, from left to right, Tera Jane Ripley, Zoe Sackman, Lauren Houston, Zach Wall, Teddy Atwell and their coach, Gordon Millar.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

McMurray Middle School “mathmagicians” did it again.

Earlier this year a team of 18 sixth graders from McMurray placed second in the annual “Math Is Cool” regional competition in Tacoma, earning the team a place in the state masters competition against 14 other schools from all over Washington.

With that win under their belt, Zoe Sackman, Zach Wall, Lauren Houston and Teddy Atwell along with reserve team member Tera Jane Ripley traveled with their parents and coach Gordon Millar to Spokane on Friday, May 16, for the state competition on Saturday at Mount Spokane High School.

After a total of two hours of varied and challenging tests they waited anxiously for the scores to be tallied and the results announced, Millar said.

Finally they heard it, Millar said: “Second place, McMurray Middle School!”

Fourth- and fifth-grade teams also competed in the state event, but did not place in the top three.

However, fifth-grader Anna Ripley stood out, earning third place in the individual competition out of all students in division II schools in her grade, Millar said.

Jill Mulvihill, parent of fourth-grade mathlete Taryn Mulvihill, said it was a fun-filled event. She estimated there were 100 schools competing.

“They had a really good time,” she said. “It was a pretty long day for them, and I was very proud of them. These kids did very well.”

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