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DYER | Monica Fronczek, 11, and her sixth-grade teammates from St. Mary’s School in Griffith weren't too worried going into the Indiana Academic M.A.T.H. Bowl this year.

Thursday night’s competition wasn’t expected to be too hard, Monica said.

Her teammates Sydney Flick, Sydney McLaurin and Haylie Keene, all 11, agreed.

“It depends on the (math) problem,” Monica said.

Eighteen region schools including St. Mary’s competed in the portion of the M.A.T.H. Bowl hosted by Kahler Middle School in Dyer. The 17th annual event, administered by the Indiana Association of School Principals and co-sponsored by Purdue and Indiana universities, also challenged the math skills of participants from schools in Portage and Valparaiso, and many others around the state.

It was Kahler’s second year in a row hosting the Lake County event, said Kelly Gravely, a Kahler M.A.T.H. Bowl coach and fifth-grade teacher.

“(Kahler students) took first last year,” she said. “We have a different group this year. Every year is exciting.”

Lake County school teams in 2013 included Eldon Ready Elementary, Elliott Elementary, Forest Ridge Academy, Frank Hammond Elementary, Hal E. Clark Middle School, Hozford Park Elementary, Kahler, Longfellow Elementary, Protsman Elementary, St. John Evangelist, St. Mary’s, Wadsworth Elementary, Aspire Charter Academy, East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy, Beiriger Elementary and Eads Elementary. Statewide, 477 teams competed.

It was standing room only at Kahler as parents crowded into the gymnasium to watch while arming themselves with pizza, nachos and soft drinks from the concession stands. Teams from each school marched in one by one to cheers from the bleachers.

Teams had to compete in four rounds of multiple choice questions. There was a calculator on each table, and adult volunteers nearby to review responses.

Results will be posted by noon Saturday at The top teams will receive either a plaque or certificate to place in their school.