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Gator robotics teams advance to playoff rounds at Great Northern Regional

Holding a controller, Badger Robotics drive team member Kennedy Truscinski focuses in on the action during a match at the 2020 FIRST Robotics Great Northern Regional at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. (photo by Emily Wicklund)

GMR Robotics human player Olivia Brazier focuses in on the action at the Great Northern Regional, as GMR mentor John Langaas (background) looks on. (photo by Emily Wicklund)

The Badger Robotics team poses for a team photo with its robot named Eclipse at the Great Northern Regional. Pictured are (L-R): Standing: Jandi VonEnde, Jedd VonEnde, Jasmine Christianson, Hannah Rud, Aulona Jasiqi, Lexi Rud, Kennedy Truscinski, Talon Hilligas, Jack Burkel, Jasmyn Rud, Avdyl, Jasiqi, Alex Truscinski, Valerie Truscinski, Bryza Rud, Alan Truscinski, and Olivia Hamann; Kneeling: Brooke VonEnde, Talisha Hamann, Katerina Nubson, and Liesl Aarhus. (submitted photo)

The GMR Robotics team poses for a team photo with its robot at the Great Northern Regional. Pictured are (L-R): Front: Christian Wahl, Elizabeth Gust, Sarah Stanelle, Wyatt Whitchurch, Lauren Kvien, and Piper Sondreal; Middle: Michael Diaz, Ray Tarala, Diana Wang, Max Utter, Olivia Brazier, Ryan Hlucny, Landon Kvien, Paris Sondreal, and Cari Swenson; Back: Mary Anderson, Aaron Kvien, Kyle Stauffenecker, Thor Anderson, Dennis Brazier, John Novacek, John Langaas, Teresa Hlucny, Doug Hlucny, Riley Sovde, Vern Langaas, and Russ Anderson. (submitted photo)

Two Gator Robotics teams, Team #3750 out of Badger High School, and Team #5172 out of Greenbush-Middle River High School, opened their competition seasons at the Great Northern Regional from the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D., February 26-29— a Week One FIRST Robotics event. Both Gator teams would get the opportunity to compete in the playoff rounds, but both fell short of capturing that regional title.

As for the Badger team, after day one of qualification matches, it stood in the second ranked position, climbing to first at the beginning of the first day. The team would remain in this position until the final qualification match of the regional— one that the Badger team lost. The Badger team would finish qualification matches— which ran February 28 and 29— with an 8-1 record and in the fifth ranked position.

Captain of the fifth ranked alliance heading into playoff rounds, Badger selected Team #5653, the Iron Mosquitoes from Babbit, Minn., and Team #7858, the Warriors from BOLD High School in Olivia, Minn, to form its alliance.

In quarterfinal playoff action—done in a best-of-three series format— the Badger-led alliance would fall to the fourth ranked alliance, made up of Team #2883, F.R.E.D out of Warroad, Minn., Team #3082, Chicken Pot Pie out of Minnetonka, Minn., and Team#2847, The MegaHertz out Fairmont, Minn. The Badger-led alliance lost by scores of 150-132 and 187-129. Although its regional run ended sooner than hoped, Badger Team Coach Val Truscinski was proud of her team’s efforts.

The Badger team’s next regional event, the Iowa Regional, takes place March 27-28 in Cedar Falls.

The Greenbush-Middle River team would finish the two days of qualification rounds with a 6-3 record and ranked twelfth in the 60-team field, including both students and engineering and technical mentors from North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Manitoba, Canada.

Not earning a top eight spot needed to become an alliance captain, the GMR team would accept an offer to join the top-ranked alliance captain, Team #3293, the Otterbots from Fergus Falls, Minn. This alliance also invited Team#4198, Robocats from Waconia, Minn., to join it.
The GMR alliance would win its quarterfinal match-up over the eighth ranked alliance made up of Team #8002, The Knack from Hartland, Wisc., Team #3007, the Robotitans from Oakdale, Minn., and Team #5638, LQPV Robotics from Madison, Minn., by scores of 262-162 and 238-80.

Advancing to the semifinals, the GMR alliance defeated the fourth ranked alliance of Team #2883, Team #3082, and Team#2847, by scores of 233-100 and 206-122.

One series win away from a regional title and an automatic trip to the FIRST Robotics World Championship—held in Detroit, Mich., April 28-May 2— the GMR alliance would take on the second ranked alliance made of Team #1619, Up-A-Creek from Longmont, Colo., Team #876, Thunder Robotics from Hatton-Northwood, N.D., and Team #4593, Rapid Acceleration from Rapid City, S.D.

The GMR alliance would fall short, dropping the best-of-three series by scores of 254-230 and 228-184.

The GMR team’s next competition is the 10,000 Lakes Regional held at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, March 25-28.

To see the complete story, read the March 4 issue of The Tribune in print or online.

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