This report submitted by Vandana Kadam, Harker math teacher. Kadam coached the state championship team and will coach them for the national competition. This is her fourth competition; in 2011, she led the California team to the national championship.
Harker’s team is the 2014 state MathCounts champion, a repeat of 2008 and 2011 victories for Harker.
Last Saturday, Harker’s MathCounts team was represented at the state MathCounts competition by Jimmy Lin, Rajiv Movva, Shaya Zarkesh, all grade 8, and Katherine Tian, grade 7. In addition to the Harker team members, Jerry Chen, grade 8, went in as an independent competitor. Everyone performed exceptionally well.
Movva placed second among the top 10 individuals and will represent California in the national competition to be held May 8-10 in Orlando, Fla. Zarkesh placed 14th and Lin was ranked 23rd (just two points behind Zarkesh).
It was a tough competition, with Cupertino, Redwood and Miller schools also fielding extremely strong teams. Harker beat defending state champion William Hopkins School from Fremont, and also passed champions Miller and Redwood to clinch the No. 1 spot. The point separation between the top four teams was small so it was a nail-biting finish for Harker, giving it the flavor of March Madness! Harker had the best performance of all the teams in the entire state.
The top four teams were all from the Santa Clara chapter, with three more teams from this chapter among the top 10 teams in the Northern California competition.
The top 175 students (34 teams, including all chapter champions, and 39 top independents) from 14 different chapters from Northern California participated in the competition at Stanford.
A similar number of students from 12 different chapters from Southern California participated in the same contest held on March 15 at University of California, Irvine. The top 10 students were recognized at each of these venues. Four top students from these 300-plus students (both venues) were chosen to be part of the California team to go to the national MathCounts competition in Orlando.
All four of these toppers came from Northern California and, as hard as it is to believe, three of these students are from our Santa Clara chapter. There was a tie for first place with four students scoring 43 out of 46 points. (Rankings were then determined based on which problems they had missed, giving more weight to harder problems.) Movva was one of the students who scored 43. Joining Movva in representing California at the national competition will be students from Cupertino Middle School, Raymond J. Fisher Middle School in Los Gatos and Harvest Park Middle School in Pleasanton.
Saturday’s success is highly encouraging. Most of these students have been with the MathCounts program for two years and the title of California state champions is well deserved for each one of them. This is an incredible achievement for the students and for the school.
Please congratulate them on their accomplishment, and thank you all for your support.