Close, but no cigar for UB Mathletes on NBC competition show

Jul 24, 2017

University at Buffalo students came close to snagging a $250,000 prize on NBC's "Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge." But on Sunday's season finale, team Mathletes failed to reach the three-team final. Contestant Trevor Bernard, a sophomore math major, told WBFO spirits were high even after the loss.

The Mathletes, considered an underdog from early on, made it into the final six on NBC's "Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge." From left, Trevor Bernard, Zoe Herrick, Kyle "Wooch" Graff, Ellen Lutnick and Chris Kosmin.
Credit NBCUniversal Media

“There was no bad feeling at all. We were all incredibly happy with our overall performance coming into the competition as the “underdog” team and to go as far as we did, it just like—that felt amazing to do,” Bernard said.

The students competed against 24 teams from around the country and reached the final six.

Bernard said a combination of tough obstacles and fatigue led to the defeat.

“We raced our first two races on the second night, whereas teams like the Heart of Texas raced on the first night, so they had, you know, another 24 hours of rest. So teams like us and Sun Junkies only had 12 hours. So, you know, we had just gone to sleep, wake up, and then go back on set to race again pretty much,” Bernard said.

With an average age of 20, the Mathletes were the youngest of the 24 competing teams.