Students from Hillcrest Lutheran Academy of Fergus Falls found great success at the 42nd annual Tri-College Mathematics Competition hosted by Minnesota State University–Moorhead on Wednesday, March 16. The three Hillcrest teams competing in the Senior High division (grades 11-12) for small schools took first, second, and fifth places. In the Beginning High School division (grades 9-10), a Hillcrest team took first place as well.

The Tri-College Competition is rotated each year between three colleges, NDSU in Fargo and Concordia and MSUM in Moorhead. This year, the tests were written by the Concordia math department. Many participating high school teams travel great distances to compete. Teams this year, for example, came from as far west as Bismarck and as far north as Kittson County (on the Canadian border). Over 40 schools and 80 or more eight-student teams competed at each level.

Hillcrest students also scored at the top individually. High School level: Anqi Wang (1st), Kelly Kim (2nd), Elaine Yi (3rd). Also in the top ten were Di Zhou, Joseph Ryu, J.J. Lee, and Sherry Xiao. At the Beginning High School level, Heejin Jeong placed 3rd and Eric Konynenbelt placed 4th. Although Hillcrest competed in the small school division, Hillcrest’s winning team at the High School level would have placed a close second to the first place team in the large school division, as they took the same test.

Hillcrest’s teams had an international flavor, consisting of American, Korean, Chinese, Russian, and Vietnamese students. HLA sent 46 students to the competition this year. 2016 marks the ninth year in the last ten that Hillcrest has won first place for small schools at the Senior High level. Brent Juliot and Steve Doering serve as advisors to the HLA math teams.