INDIANAPOLIS — Wawasee Iron Pride Robotics won the Indiana VEX Robotics State Championships in smashing style, bringing home four trophies against Indiana’s 60 best teams Saturday, March 9, at Lucas Oil Stadium. Wawasee competed with more teams than any other school at the event and made its mark on the tournament with teams 574C, 574D, 574E and 574N making it from qualifying rounds and moving on to the elimination bracket.
“In 12 years of robotics I haven’t seen a group of kids so driven,” said Wawasee Head Coach Jed Wandland. This is the second state title Iron Pride has earned in three years. “They build on the success of each group year after year.”
574C won two, tournament champion and robot skills champion.
• Tournament champion is presented to the winning alliance of the tournament.
• Robot skills champion is presented to the team with the highest combined programming and driving skills challenge score.
574D won tournament finalists — presented to the runner-up alliance of the tournament.
574J won Judges Award — The Judges Award is presented to a team the judges determine is deserving of special recognition. Judges consider a number of possible criteria for this award, such as team displays of special attributes, exemplary effort and perseverance at the event, or team accomplishments or endeavors throughout the season that may not fit under existing awards, but are nonetheless deserving of special recognition.
574C and 574D both qualified a second time to advance to the world championships in Louisville.
Alliance Selection And Elimination Rounds
Partner selection — 574C and 574D were such a feared alliance other teams worked together to prevent them from teaming up. The first seed alliance 491X attempted to select fourth seed 574C, but C declined with the goal of partnering with another team. Since C declined to partner with 491X, they could only select a partner, not accept the request from another alliance leaving the second and third seeds to choose other teams. The second seed, 99904A, Dragon, skipped over all the higher ranked teams to choose 21st ranked 574D. Team Dragon later told D, “we wanted to keep D from partnering with C.”
After a tough qualifying match schedule the lower ranked 574D had no choice but to accept. This divide and conquer strategy might work against other alliances, but instead became a pincer maneuver as C and D plowed through the competition to face each other in the finals, guaranteeing a Wawasee state championship banner.
Round Of 16
574C partnered with 6842Z “Pigpe,” fourth seed, won (34-6). 574N ninth seed was eliminated in the round of 16. 574E, ninth seed, upset the sixth seed (21-19) in a terrific upset to move on to the quarterfinals. 574D was chosen to the second seed, in the bottom bracket, won (19-12).
574C won (23-11). 574D won (25-13). 574E lost (5-33).
The first seed 491X & 491A were disqualified in the previous round for entanglement, allowing less formidable partners to face 574C & Pigpen. 574C won (36-3). 574D won (25-11).
574C & Pigpen faced 574D & 99904A. While C & Pigpen won 25 to 11, the lead rocked back and forth. Whomever won, Wawasee would win two trophies tourney champ and tourney finalist. Sixty-five balls where shot at flags in two minutes. Follow the link to see the Indiana VEX Turning Point state finals — Wawasee 574C + Park Tudor Upper (Indy) 6842z vs. New Palestine High School 99904A + Wawasee 574D
Next stop for 574C & 574D — world championships — 600 teams from 40 countries around the globe will be competing at the World VEX Robotics Championships in April. Currently there are teams qualified to compete at worlds from China, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong, Columbia, Australia, Thailand, Mexico, Finland, Vietnam, Ireland, Japan, Chile, Puerto Rico, Macau, United Arab Emirates and more.
World championships, April 24 through 27 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Lane, Louisville, Ky.
574D — qualified 21st, selected by second seed team and faced 574D and first seed in the finals.
574C & 574D — teammates and close friends 574C and 574D were pitted against each other during finals guaranteeing a Wawasee state champion before the match was even played.
574C, D, E & N — four Wawasee teams in finals bracket, more than any school in the state.
574E — 11th seed 574E claimed victory against sixth seed resulting in an upset during the round of 16.
574J — passionate solo team, earns judges award in last tourney of his high school robotics career.
574C — remains undefeated in robot skills. 12 tournaments, 12 trophies.
Final match — 65 balls shot on flags in two minutes.
High ranking Vex officials were impressed with the strength of competition at the Indiana state tournament. The level of quality teams and well-built robots in this region makes Indiana a standout region. Vex high officials were sticklers about technical rules resulting in six disqualifications during the tournament (local ref disqualified his own sons during the tourney and the statement “Be careful, this ref hands out DQs like candy” was overheard).