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Longfellow Middle Rubik’s Cube team wins salute from legislature

The highly touted Longfellow Middle School Rubik’s Cube team has received an “attaboy” from the Virginia General Assembly.

Legislators approved a resolution saluting the team, which is ranked tops in its age category in national competition, noting that team members recently were able to solve 25 puzzles in 96 seconds in the D.C. Metro Rubik’s Cube Challenge.

During that competition, team members Michael Fatemi and Justin Choi solved puzzles in 12.6 seconds and 15.1 seconds, respectively. (Fatemi, ranked as the top middle-schooler in the nation, has solved a Rubik’s Cube in as fast as 4.59 seconds, while Choi has a top time of 7.7 seconds.)

Members of the team “encourage each other to achieve new heights by fostering a spirit of friendly competition,” notes the resolution, patroned by Del. Rip Sullivan (D-48th) and approved by both houses of the legislature.

The team’s success “is a testament to the dedication and skill of each of the competitors, the guidance of coaches and staff, and the enthusiastic support of classmates, family, friends and the entire Longfellow Middle School community,” notes the resolution.

The success of the team in 2017 was nothing new for Longfellow, as the squad long has had one of the dominant Rubik’s Cube programs in the region. Seven years ago, members of the school team even had the opportunity to meet Hungarian sculptor and professor Erno Rubik, who conceived the cubes in the 1970s.

The puzzles, originally called Magic Cubes, were enormously popular in the 1980s and have had a recent resurgence of public interest. About one-third of a billion of them have been sold worldwide.