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Four local students have shot at national math team


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Math Olympiad Five students from Alachua County Public Schools are among North America’s top scorers on a grueling series of math exams, and four of them now have a shot at earning a spot on a national math team.

Buchholz High School students Jeffrey Lu, Daniel Zeng, Jake Frazer and Jeremy Griffin have all qualified for the USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO), an exam that will help determine who will be a member of the U.S. Junior Math Olympiad team. Only 270 students from across North America have reached that level, ten of them from the state of Florida. Buchholz has more USAMO qualifiers than any school south of Virginia.

Eastside High School student Atharva Pathak has qualified for the USA Junior Mathematical Olympiad (USAJMO), which is only open to students up to the 10th grade and is used to identify and groom younger students for the Olympiad.

All five students will be taking a grueling two-day exam in mid-April. The results of the test will determine whether the four BHS students will move on to the next level of competition for a spot on the five-member team that will represent the U.S. in the International Mathematical Olympiad.

This is the second time that Lu, Frazer and Zeng have qualified for the USAMO. Lu also previously qualified for the USAJMO. Both programs are sponsored by the Mathematic Association of America.

“I am so excited for these kids,” said Will Frazer, math teacher at BHS. “To start with over 100,000 of the best kids in the nation and make it to the final 270 is so special. This accomplishment will help all of them greatly when it comes to applying to elite universities who pay close attention to these things.”

In addition to the USAMO, all four BHS students are also prepping for the statewide Mu Alpha Theta Competition, which begins next week. Their team is competing for its 13th state title in 15 years and is the reigning national champion.