A combined team of top math students from Fairtax and Montgomery counties has edged out New York City to take first place in a high school mathematics contest that drew 90 "all-star" teams from 15 East Coast and Midwest states.
Randall Dougherty, 19, a senior at W. T. Woodson High School in Fairfax, answered correctly all eight of the individual problems to lead the winning team. Only five students out of 450 participating had all the questions correct.
Dougherty then was the fastest to answer a tie-breaking question and was named top scorer in the meet, which was sponsored by the Atlantic Region Mathematics League. The six-hour event was held recently at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
In early May Dougherty scored first in a nationwide high school math contest, the seventh U.S.A. Mathematical Olympiad.
Besides the individual questions, the competition included a group of team problems, which all 15 members of each team helped to solva, plus two relay rounds. All the problems were more difficult than those in regular high school courses.
The students participating were all stars in their own high school math leagues, who had a accumulated the season's highest scores in interscholastic matches against local schools.
The Montgomery County team finished 11th out of 17 teams in the A division. The Fairfax team finished 14th.
In the B Division, Prince George's County finished fourth, Anne Arundel County, eight, and Howard County, ninth.
The Montgomery team was led by Brian Hunt, a 12-year-old eighth grader at Eastern Junior High School in Silver Spring. Hunt answered correctly seven of the eight individual problems.
"Hunt's incredible," said Erie Walstein, the coach of the Montgomery team. "He's already taking honors calculus at the University of Maryland and getting A's. He looks like the heir apparent to Randy Dougherty."