Holden Watson, a 13-year-old eighth-grader from Fulton Science Academy Private School in Alpharetta, GA, ranked as the eighth finalist and Countdown Round Qualifier at the 2017 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS® National Competition. The event, which brought together more than 200 of the nation’s brightest middle school math minds, took place May 13-16 at the Hilton Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Watson was invited to the elite Countdown Round of the 2017 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS® National Competition, during which the 12 Mathletes® with the highest written test scores competed in head-to-head matchups for the title of 2017 National Champion. The live round was webcast by ESPN, with viewers tuning in from all over the world.
“I went into this competition hopeful that I could secure a spot in the top 12 and participate in the live, Countdown Round. That goal was reached. It felt amazing to be on such a huge stage among so many tough competitors. I’m so happy!” said Watson.
Georgia’s impressive fourth place finish grabbed attention and accolades at the event. For the second year in a row, Georgia won the “Most Improved Team” award for their impressive trajectory. FSA Math Department Chair and Team Coach Sema Duzyol said, “I cannot put my feelings into words, except to say that I couldn’t be more proud of these four exceptional students.”
Eighth graders William Shi (River Trail Middle School, Johns Creek); Holden Watson (Fulton Science Academy Private School, Alpharetta); Aaron Yu (Westminster Schools, Atlanta); and Lawrence Zhou (Trickum Middle School, Lilburn) made history together representing Georgia as one cohesive team at the 2017 National MATHCOUNTS® Competition.
Holden Watson was among 224 competitors from all 50 states, who traveled to Orlando after earning a spot in the national competition. More than 100,000 students participated in the local and state competitions that led to this weekend’s event. This year’s competition was the 34th in the MATHCOUNTS Foundation’s history.”The Mathletes who competed this year have demonstrated exceptional skill and perseverance,” said Lou DiGioia, executive director of MATHCOUNTS®. “The Georgia team proves how much students can accomplish with hard work, passion and dedicated teachers who support them.”