Two OPEF VEX Robotics teams took top honors at the Illinois VEX Robotics State Championship held on March 8th in Batavia, Illinois!

A total of six teams from Brooks and Julian traveled to Batavia to compete against the best high school and middle school teams in Illinois. ‘Lost in Pink’ came home the Tournament Champion and ‘Serious Black’ won the top award, the Middle School Excellence Award.

This weekend’s state competition had it all–dramatic pileups, deftly handled robots weaving through tight corners, bots pulling themselves up into the air and even some tug-of-war. Teams battled to score in this year’s VEX Challenge game, Toss Up. The teams competed all morning and into the afternoon in a series of grueling matches where good defense played a key role. They were also interviewed and observed by judges as they vied for awards such as best design, most innovative, sportsmanship, etc.

Five of our teams–Purple Mudcrabs of Death, Serious Black, Lost in Pink, Neonderthal and Gold Rush– made it into the Elimination Matches. Neonderthal and Purple Mudcrabs made it all the way to the Quarterfinals before finally being eliminated. Serious Black, who went to the World Championship last year, was frustrated by technical troubles, but battled on through a serious of tough matches before finally being defeated in the Semi-Finals. Lost in Pink, along with its two alliance partners, defeated their opponents in the finals 57-15 and 44-10 to become the Tournament Champion.

The final award of the day–the Middle School Excellence Award for the best overall robot–was awarded to Serious Black to the wild applause of friends and families!

This competition qualifies both Serious Black and Lost in Pink for the 2014 VEX Robotics World Championship in Anaheim, California on April 23 – 26.

Congratulations to all the OPEF VEX Robotics teams who participated in this weekend’s state championship!

Special thanks to all our VEX coaches–Tim Walsh, Don Robinson, Jessica Moncatch, Erin Howe, Jason Morrell, Brian Shinners, Beth Barton. We had the most teams at the state championship of any program in the state!

Winning teams:

Serious Black Team, Illinois State Championship Middle School Excellence Award: Ben Pooley, Jacob Spangler, Bennett Tucker, Tyler Yokoo

Lost in Pink Team, Illinois State Tournament Champions: Richie Beile, George Dickerson, Charles Langelan, Ben Mertz, Ibrahim Mokhtar

Check out the slideshow of photos from the Illinois State Championship.