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The Trinity Math Triathlon may need to consider changing its name if Timothy Christian School continues to dominate the event. The Elmhurst, Illinois, grade school captured its second first-place trophy in two years on April 29, marking the fifth time in the Triathlon's 11-year history that Timothy students have posted the highest cumulative score.

Each April, the College's math department welcomes 10-15 Christian grade schools from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan to compete in a series of problem-solving challenges that demand sharp instincts and thorough teamwork. This year, 130 students from 12 schools, mostly seventh- and eighth-graders, took turns figuring exponentials, multiplying fractions, and determining proper divisors in individual, team, and relay contests.

"I didn't think so many kids enjoyed math this much," said Sarah Smith, a seventh-grader at Timothy who participated in her first Triathlon. "It's fun because we get to know people from different schools. I think I'd like to come back next year."

Math professors Sharon Robbert and Dave Klanderman received help from more than 25 Trinity students and registrar Ron Oosting, who contributed to his final Triathlon before retiring this summer. The event's popularity spurred the math department to sponsor separate events in Iowa and Wisconsin in January. Robbert said it is very likely that the College will continue putting on three Triathlons each year, which will allow more schools and students to experience the fun.

"Our kids get pretty excited about coming here every year," said Dennis DeVries, math teacher at Southwest Chicago Christian School in Oak Lawn, Illinois, which made its 10th appearance. "We usually give them a few problems to simulate the Triathlon beforehand. It's hard sometimes to get students to admit that they enjoy math, so this shows them that math isn't so bad."

Southwest Chicago Christian's Tinley Park (Illinois) school took second place while Central Wisconsin Christian School notched third place. Next year's Triathlon is scheduled for April 28, 2005.

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