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History: UB Mathletes seek it, 'American Pickers' highlights it

Four University at Buffalo mathletes will try to make some reality show history on Sunday night and some Western New York food and transportation history will be on display Monday night.

The Mathletes – that's their team name – from UB are one of six teams competing in Sunday's two-hour season finale of the NBC reality show, "Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge." It airs at 9 p.m. on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2).

The six teams left in the original 24-team competition will first compete in semifinal heats before the top three teams make the finals.

NBC reports the championship heat will feature a longer-than-usual 15 obstacles as the teams deal with a series of physically grueling and often muddy challenges. Previous challenges included jumping from a swinging tire to a landing area without falling into a pool of water below and  pushing an 850-pound timber pole into a position so that each teammate could crawl up the pole and over a wall.

The Mathletes are Ellen Lutnick (Grand Island), Trevor Bernard (Deer Park), Chris Komin (Grand Island) and Zoe Herrick (Rochester) and are joined by Kyle "Wooch" Graff, an elite Spartan athlete of Houston, Texas.

Here's what an NBC news release says about them: "Led by thong-wearing team captain Kyle “Wooch” Graff, the youngest team, and possibly the one with the highest IQ in the competition, use their love of problem solving in hopes of outsmarting more experienced teams on the Spartan course."

The show hasn't exactly been must-see TV. But it has received local ratings in the 2s for the last two Monday episodes, which is decent for a 10 p.m. series during the summer.

Now on to some past history ...

Jim Sandoro, the owner of the Buffalo Transportation/Pierce Arrow Museum, will be on the History Channel series "American Pickers" at 9 p.m. July 24.

Sandoro can't reveal much about the segment. But it deals with the history of the food business and transportation in Western New York at the beginning of the 20th century.


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