Edgemont senior Ellstrom places third in West River Math Contest

Photo by Garland Wright

Edgemont Senior Olivia Ellstrom displays her medal for placing third in the Advanced Math category at the recent West River Math Competition held at the South Dakota School of Mines.


By Garland Wright

RAPID CITY – Edgemont High School Math students recently attended the West River Math Contest at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology on May 8, where there were 552 Class ‘A’ and ‘B’ participants hoping to score in the top-five of their respective categories. 

Six Edgemont High School Math students competed across four different categories, led by senior Olivia Ellstrom who placed third in the Advanced Math competition. Freshman Raelee Provorse tied for sixth place in the Algebra I exam, beating out almost 70 other contestants in her category. Fellow freshman Allie Brunson also competed in the Algebra 1 competition, while sophomore Katelyn Lauritsen competed in the Algebra II competition.  Juniors Mackenzie Hollenbeck and Brenden Nelson competed in the geometry competition and each tied for seventh place.

The West River Math Contest is notorious for its difficulty and fierce competition. Students must complete two separate tests to determine their place in the competition. Furthermore, students are not permitted to utilize calculators during the testing sessions.  

Lauritsen explained that she had to take two exams as part of the math competition. The first exam she took consisted of 12 questions over 50 minutes. The second exam Lauritsen completed lasted 30 minutes and consisted of six questions.

“It’s nice to compete against the state’s best in terms of high school mathematicians. You meet incredibly intelligent people,” stated Lauritsen, describing her time at the West River Math Contest.

Ellstrom completed 10 questions over 50 minutes and eight questions over 30 minutes covering trigonometry. Trigonometry is one of the most challenging math courses in the Edgemont High School curriculum and is weighted as such in students’ GPA.

“I was flabbergasted when I heard my name called during the awards ceremony,” Ellstrom said. “I feel much smarter than I thought I was, and I should have felt a lot more confident in myself then. I left the tests feeling like I did not do well, but I must have done much better than I initially thought because I placed third in my category.”

Ellstrom will continue her studies at Northern State University in Aberdeen in the fall. She is currently undecided about her major but knows it will involve math and science.

Fall River County Herald Star

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