Things are looking up after competing at the Great Northern Regional on February 26-29. We know we have a lot to learn before our next competition comes up on March 25-28, but we are proud of our performance at our first regional event this season. We ranked 4th overall and led the 4th-seeded alliance through to the Semifinals. We maintained a record of 8-0-1 (Win-Tie-Loss) throughout the Qualification matches, and 10-0-3 for the entirety of the competition including the playoff matches.

It was a race to get our climber on during the first day of the competition. The climber was a bit of a last-minute job that was tested off of the robot and that we never had a chance to put on the robot yet prior to this day. Although it took some time away from our drivers’ practice, it ended up working well and paying off throughout the qualification matches. We also gave another team, Millerbots team 2549, a hand with their autonomous code and, really, their entire codebase so that they could perform their best at this competition.

We started our day in the first official match of the competition, which we promptly lost when our shooter did not function properly. This was the only match in Qualifications that we lost, and much of the credit for that goes to our programmers who got an autonomous program working that could score 3 balls during the first 15 seconds of a match. We ended Day 2 of the competition ranked among the top 8 teams, and with odds high that we would be an alliance captain after Qualification matches concluded the next day, we scrambled to put together our pick list based on our data of how other teams performed during this first day of official matches.

By the end of Qualification matches, we were ranked 4th. We chose teams 2883 and 2847 to round out our alliance, and together we made it through double-elimination Quarterfinals without a loss. We lost both matches of Semifinals to our opponents and went on to cheer for them during Finals since they were another Minnesota-led alliance.

Competing for Chairman’s:
Away from the robot’s performance, we also had three students present for the Chairman’s Award, the most prestigious award in FIRST robotics, for the first time in our team’s history. We did not win this award, nor did we expect to, but it gave us more experience to work with and become a better contender for the award in future years.

Thank You:
Great Northern went better than many of us anticipated, and we have our generous sponsors to thank for such a wonderful start to the season. Without you, we would not have been able to afford the materials for our robot or allow as many students to travel out-of-state for this competition.
Our gratitude knows no bounds. Thank you for continuing to be a part of our journey!