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Scarsdale Mathcounts Club Qualifies for States

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – The Scarsdale Middle School Mathcounts Club qualified for the state competition in March with its recent first-place finish in the Westchester/Putnam chapter competition at Pace University in Pleasantville.

Scarsdale topped a field of 150 students comprising 17 school teams.

Representing Scarsdale were Harry Chalfin (second overall), Alan Chung, Samantha Lin (ninth overall), Emily Jusuf, James Jusuf (12th overall), Dexin Li, Keshav Rastogi, David Wang (third overall), Cherie Xu and Timothy Zhao.

Wang won the buzzer round that featured the top 12 individuals.

Chalfin, Lin, Wang and Zhao will represent Scarsdale at the state competition March 13 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy.

Club adviser Steve Weiss said he had high expectations for his team going into the Feb. 4 competition.

"To be honest, I would have been surprised had we not finished first. This was a strong team all year, returning three strong competitors from last year," Weiss said. "Although I graduated a group of talented eighth-grade students, younger students were waiting in the wings. Kids generally put in their time in the club in sixth and seventh grade and end up as major contributors as eighth graders."

Weiss, who has been involved with the program for more than 20 years and is assisted by Heidi Kaplan, said that the contest questions generally cover middle school-level topics, with some high school-level material thrown in.

"Generally, Mathcounts kids are accelerated so it's not uncommon to see questions from the ninth grade curriculum even though Mathcounts is only grades six through eight," Weiss said. "These problems are definitely not straight forward and require a keen mastery of math as well as quickness."

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