Badger School’s robotics team, Gator Robotics Team 3750, headed to Duluth, Minn., for their first regional event of the 2019 season – Lake Superior Regional on March 6-9. With 63 teams attending the event, one of the largest regional events that FIRST holds throughout the world, the team knew that they had their work cut out for them if they were going to advance to the elimination rounds. Friday brought much success for Team 3750 as they finished the first day of qualification rounds with a 7-0 record and sitting in second place overall. Saturday morning started off with a 55-53 loss, and Gator Robotics finished the qualification rounds with a win, giving them a 8-1 record and leaving them in the number two ranking position.
Being in the number two position, the team was named the captain of the second alliance for the elimination rounds. Gator Robotics chose Team 3102, Tech-No-Tigers from Nevis, Minn., and Team 5690, SubZero Robotics from Esko, Minn., to join their alliance. The alliance worked their way through the quarterfinals with two wins (83-37 and 96-28), advancing them to the semi-final rounds. The semi-finals brought two more wins for the alliance (79-49 and 96-82), advancing them to the finals. As excitement for the team increased, they found themselves just two wins away from the regional championship title.
During the first round of final competition, Team 5690 went to the opposing end of the field to play defense and got hung up partially on top of one of the other team’s robots. They struggled to get unstuck, and with the help of Team 3750 finally came loose, but they had been stuck for too long. That “pin” earned the alliance a Red Card and an automatic disqualification for that round. The three teams on the alliance knew that they had to win the next two rounds to win the overall championship. They stuck to the task at hand and didn’t falter, winning both rounds (77-54 and 81-60) to bring home the victory.
Also of note, the team not only won the Regional Championship, but also earned the Industrial Design Award and the Safety Hard Hat Award, and their Junkyard Robot earned second place overall.
The Regional Championship win advances Team 3750 not only to the World Championships in Detroit, but also to the Minnesota State High School League State Tournament in Minneapolis later this year. Team 3750 will compete in their final regional event for 2019, The Great Northern Regional, March 15-16. The live stream of this event can be found online at https://www.thebluealliance.com. Once on that page, find Great Northern and click on Watch Now. The team hopes that the community can come out to support both Team 3750 and Team 5172 from Greenbush/Middle River as they compete at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D., this weekend.