April 4, 2013 at 12:14 p.m.

Chisago Lakes-North Branch robotics team places highly at regional meet

Chisago Lakes-North Branch robotics team places highly at regional meet
Chisago Lakes-North Branch robotics team places highly at regional meet

The North Branch-Chisago Lakes FIRST Robotics Team 3038 competed in the 10,000 Lakes Regional at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

Team 3038 began competition with five qualifying matches finishing the day with a 4-1 record and in 12th place. Becky Leuer, team leader, said "The robot performed flawlessly on Friday and at one point we were ranked as high as 5th place. The kids were very excited to see their efforts pay off with success." Saturday morning, Team 3038 began the qualifying rounds with another win and then experienced problems with the robot controller. A quick trip to Target by mentor Scott Frischmon and team member Dominic Hufford to purchase a new X-box controller solved that problem and the robot finished the qualifying rounds in 14th place.

At the conclusion of the qualifying rounds, the top eight teams draft alliance partners for the elimination rounds leading to the championship match up. Team 3038 was selected by the 4th ranked team from Tartan High School and joined the team from Nevis High School to make up the 4th place alliance and began quarterfinal rounds on Saturday afternoon. In the elimination rounds, the alliance must win 2 out of 3 games to advance. Team 3038 and their alliance partners won in two straight to advance to the semi-finals. After dropping their first semi-final game, Team 3038 and their partners from Tartan and Nevis finished their next game in a 100-100 point tie and lost in a tie-breaker to complete their competition for the day.

"We feel very good about how we did in this competition" said mentor Scott Frischmon, North Branch Area High School Industrial Technology teacher. "The alliance that beat us in the semi-finals went on the win the competition and no other alliance was able to score 100 points against them." What's up next for Team 3038? In about two weeks they will hear whether or not their performance was good enough to qualify for the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Championships in May.

Team 3038 thanks St. Jude Medical Foundation for sponsoring the team again this year. Cummins and Pine Technical College also contributed to the team this year. Branch Manufacturing, in North Branch, provided promotional items to the marketing team for use during the competition as well. Minnesota has the fastest growing robotics community in the United States and now has 180 school teams, more robotics teams than hockey teams.


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