by Hannah Li
The Orange County Math Circle teamed up with the World Cube Association to hold a Rubik's Cube competition at the Discovery Center in Santa Ana on April 24.
The Discovery Center is a special place for World Cube Delegate Michael Young. It was where he participated in his first official Rubik's Cube competition.
“I think [competition like these are] great, this is obviously a good hobby to have, and being able to collect so many people in the same room with the same shared passion is always fantastic,” Young says. “If it weren't for cubing, I don't think I would have got into CalTech.”
Contestants can participate in the 3x3 competition or the 2x2 competition, or both. Each competitor solves a Rubik's Cube five times, and the best and worst times are thrown out. The remaining three scores are averaged. In the final round, the eight competitors with the lowest times in each category compete for first, second and third.
More than 100 contestants came to compete, and spirits were high in the room as competitors started getting ready.
“I’m pretty confident,” contestant Samuel Morales says. “This is my second competition, so I guess I’ll do fine. I practice twenty minutes a day.”
Some participants were even school clubs.
“This is our first time here. My students approached me at school and they created a club,” says Pacific Drive Elementary School Principal Yolanda Castillo. “It’s an after-school club, they play during recess and lunch, and they found a competition that was happening locally, and asked me if they could come to represent our school.”
In the second round of the 3x3, competitor Max Park, who unfortunately declined an interview, broke the average Rubik's Cube world record of 6.45 seconds, which was held by Feliks Zemdegs, with a time of 6.38 seconds.
Finally, the top three winners were announced for each category. In the 3x3, Max Park, SungIn Park and Ethan Jan won first, second and third place, respectively. In the 2x2, Ethan Jan, Christopher Lai, and Sean Saito won first, second and third place respectively.
The event wrapped up at 4:30 p.m., and the official results were posted on the World Cube Association Website.