3 Teams Advance From Warsaw Robotics Qualifier

Forty-one teams competed at the Warsaw Robotics VEX State Qualifier Saturday, with teams from Eastern High School, Greentown; Jay County High School, Portland; and Crown Point High School advancing to the state championship March 7 at Warren Central.
During the competition, the Greentown team scored an 81, which was the highest VEX scores in Indiana for this competition, according to officials. 
Three teams from Warsaw Area Career Center competed, with two advancing to the quarter finals. Five Wawasee High School teams participated, with one making it to the semifinals.
“It’s our second tournament this year and our first season competing,” said Wawasee coach Jed Wandland. 
The afterschool club competed last weekend at the Jay County qualifier, where two teams made it to the quarter finals.
Wawasee’s team playing to the semifinals included juniors Jailene Ortiz, Amber Griffith, Tyler Goshert, Dustin Brown and sophomore Conner Erlenwein.
Grant Monsma, a Warsaw senior, was on a team that made it to the quarter finals.
“It’s late in the year so there’s a lot of strong robots out now,” he said. “We got stuck with some of the worst robots for alliances. They weren’t good enough to compete with who we went up against.”
He said the first round in the quarter finals was close, but they lost by a cube. They won the second round, but lost in the third.
“So, very close,” he said.
For the next competitions, Monsma said they need to make their robot faster and more stable. “We need more power to compete at the higher level,” he said.
The game for the VEX Robotics competitions this year is “Skyrise,” with a focus on building upward. Two alliances, red and blue, composed of two teams each, compete on the field in each match. Alliances compete by scoring colored cubes in floor goals, on posts or on their Skyrise, by owning posts and by building their Skyrise sections. A bonus is awarded to the alliance that has the most total points at the end of the autonomous period.
There are 44 cubes – 22 red and 22 blue – and 14 Skyrise sections in a VEX Skyrise match. Each robot has one cube available as a preload and seven Skyrise sections available to be placed in its alliance’s autoloader during the match. Forty cubes start at designated locations on the field. There are 10 posts of varying height around the field and each alliance has one Skyrise base, the rules state.
Abbi Richcreek, Warsaw robotics coach and qualifier organizer, said Saturday’s event “went pretty smooth with it being our first time holding an event like this.” 
She said she saw lots of community members attend the event.
“I was excited to see students’ continued interest in robotics,” she said. “We hope to have another one in the next robotics season.”
She thanked the WACC Engineering and Technology Dept. for helping to make the event a success by spending many hours volunteering. 
WACC Engineering and Technology Dept. will hold its second annual Exhibition VEX Robotics Tournament May 2. It is a fundraiser, with concessions available. Admission is 12 non-perishable food items minimum, and there will be door prizes. The competition will begin at 10 a.m., with awards at 3:30 p.m.

(Story By The Times Union)