Steamboat Springs If the old adage holds true that brains win out over brawn, then the Steamboat Springs High School math team flexed some serious mental muscle on Thursday during Colorado State University's "Math Day."
"Mathematically speaking, it doesn't get any more exciting than watching the math team bring home a first-place trophy for the second year in a row," said high school teacher Lisa Ruff, who accompanied the team on the trip to Fort Collins.
"Sixty-four teams from around Colorado and neighboring states put 300 of their best math minds to the task," she said. "And Steamboat walked away with the small school division (championship).
"The highlight of the day was a college bowl-like competition, which features a full, double-elimination tournament with three-member teams from each of the schools," Ruff said.
Junior Charlie Stoddard, along with seniors Austin Pivarnik and Sam Chovan, represented Steamboat. Chovan also won a new desktop computer during the competition.
Three fifth-graders from Strawberry Park Elementary School traveled with the team to cheer on Stoddard, Pivarnik and Chovan.
"High School athletics always get most of the acclaim, but the young ones looked up to the older students like they were rock stars," Ruff said. "It's nice to see some students receive some accolades for academics for a change."
Also competing in the event were freshmen Michael Savory, Jeff Sperry and Lorin Paley.
"Although the trio failed to place, they'll be back next year, shoulder-to-shoulder, with Stoddard, who hopes to sweep the small school division for the third time," Ruff said.
The high school's forensics team also had reason to celebrate last week as the team ushered in a new season Saturday with a handful of medals at a four-team competition in Rangely.
Ten students participated in the tournament, and every member returned to Steamboat with a medal around his or her neck.
The team garnered four first-place finishes, four second-place finishes, three third-place finishes and two excellent ratings.
Each student was allowed to compete in two events.
"Steamboat swept the creative storytelling round with Paula Ninger, Sarah Hill and Molly Parsons placing first, second and third, respectively," Ruff said.
Ninger also received an excellent rating for her humorous interpretation piece.
The Sailors forensic team travels next to Moffat County to participate in the Bulldog Invitational on Thursday and Friday at Moffat County High School.
"Because Steamboat is so isolated, and to get a level of competition we want, we have to travel," Ruff said. "Steamboat has done traditionally well in speech and debate."