Published on Monday, 25 September 2017, 9:07 p.m. Print Article
The Horncastle Arena towered above us, bustling with chattering hordes of excited mathematicians and their families. As we stepped inside, the enormity of our situation hit us. We were here for Cantamath, a prestigious mathematical problem-solving competition held in Christchurch every year for the greatest of the great. We plunged through the sweating masses to the stairs, ascending into the arena seats. There, Mr Hastings our principal awaited us with many a teacher. Ms Aitken told us to prepare for our ordeal, and we seated ourselves. Diep.io and Pokemon were played as the other rounds played out. Then at long last, we entered the fateful halls of the Arena floor.
Fergus Ord, Mason Youngman, Annabel Morrison, and Grady Kenix strode out and took their seats. Around them poured chattering competitors, preparing for their ordeal. Then, at long, long last, we began the battle of intellects. Fighting through, we were quickly trapped by the counting of squares. Though we battled on, the time was drawing to an end when we sent out our final answer. It was correct! We cheered as the bell rang out it’s terrible notes. We had failed, but yet we had won.
Representing year seven, Jasper Murray, Luke McPherson, Clara Dujakovic, led by runner Ewan Hyndman, found their table. The table had been expertly chosen by Ewan to assist them with their tactics of keeping working on a problem as soon as alerted to a wrong answer by their runner. The year seven students got off a flying start, only to be hampered by question seven, which proved a challenge to their thinking. They were soon over that hurdle, and onto the next challenge, question twelve, which turned out to be a really difficult question. So difficult, that the year sevens ended up having to pass. In 2017, there were certainly some of the most difficult questions ever, as this was the first year that none of the teams were able to make it to 100 points within thirty minutes. By the end of the night, the year seven South team had done an admirable job, coming in the middle of the teams entered.
By Fergus Ord, Mason Youngman, Ewan Hyndman and Ms McCombe.