St. John’s Blujays “exponentially” successful at FHSU Math Relays


After finishing in the top five for six consecutive years at the Fort Hays State University Math Relays, St. John’s students captured the high school’s first championship by dominating the field at the 40th Annual event held earlier this month. The event hosted 589 students from forty-five schools matching calculatory wits against all the competitors and schools from 1A through the 6A ranks.

It doesn’t take a mathematical genius with knowledge of things like Separation or Annihilation Theorem, nor even a clue of how the scoring system works at the event to decipher a different kind of equation.

The Blujays’ Squad – Separation from the competition = Annihilation as St. John’s blew away the field with 160 points, the fourth highest total team in the event’s 40 year history. Nearly doubling up their nearest competitor as 5A Hays High School finished a distant second with 86.

Winning streaks have to start with one, and the overall title gives St. John’s a second math relays string opportunity to maintain after adding an eighth year to their consecutive victory sweep over 1A competition in the event. Tipton High School placed second in the 1A ranks behind their sister school of sorts St. John’s.

The Blujays were represented by 14 students, all of whom notched at least one first and one second place finish competing across multiple categories of individual and team events. They include Elaine Cockroft, Bren Peters, Elle Eilert, Laura Meyer, Kara Eilert, Lauryn Dubbert, Jadyn Rosebaugh, Caleb Eilert, Kail Dubbert, Brandon Bates, Benjamin Walter, Braden Dameron, Ben Thompson and Brady Paulen. The team’s sponsor/coach is Rusty Lueger.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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