Teams are only as strong as their weakest member. In athletics, teams strategize to exploit weak opponents to topple strong teams. In academic competitions, it matters greatly that everyone is at a similar level. The Comets have success, noting 10 first place plaques that go back a decade hanging near Hillcrest's stairway, because the classroom is a place where all students benefit in the Castle.
The Comets traveled to the Tri-College math competition on Tuesday in hunt for another first place finish. Their classroom preparation has been reflecting a Biblical view of work. Where some students may question the practicality of the advanced math skills they're building in classrooms, Hillcrest students are pushed to do their best in everything, and advanced math concepts are the work God has brought before them for this season of their life. This intentional teaching is a primary driver to why Hillcrest has so many academic hardware over the past decade.
Hillcrest sent three teams to compete in the upper high school division. The upper-level competition was different from past years. The test was more advanced than previous years, covering concepts most high school students haven't seen yet. Because of the advanced nature, most teams scored very close together. The top four teams in the upper-level were neck-and-neck as their scores were tabulated. Hillcrest's top team placed fourth place.
Hillcrest's younger team competed in the lower high school division, designed for grades 9-10. Three Comets placed in the top 10, earning a first place finish for their team against the 60 team competitor field. Yohan Jee placed 3rd, Yong Woo Lee placed 5th, and Peter Steinbach placed 9th, competing against over 240 students. The younger team carried Hillcrest's legacy of 1st place finishes in the Tri-College competition.
Over 40 schools, with 60 or more eight-student teams, competed at each level. Schools from far away as Bismarck and Kittson County traveled to the Tri-College math competition, designed by the mathematics departments at NDSU, Concordia, and MSU-Moorhead.