This past weekend, our middle school VEX VRC team – 24Z – earned top honors as both the Skills Challenge champions and Tournament Champions at the 2023 Maryland Middle School VEX VRC State Championships. It was an amazing performance for a talented group.
Pictured: 24Z on the left with their finals partners from 7135B from Loyola.
24Z Team Members (left to right):
Micah K, Rithvik B, Nathaniel L, Torin B, Victoria B
So what does it take to put together a performance like that? Here’s a partial list:
30+ hours of meetings during evenings between 01-Jan and 17-Feb – in a dreary, cinder block room in the basement of the Carroll County Extension Office
Set up the VRC field at every single meeting
Take down the field after every meeting
300+ Skills attempts – almost all of them failures
Resetting the field after every attempt
Checking the battery after every attempt
Moving countless batteries to and from the chargers
Recharging the pneumatics after nearly every attempt
Countless code tweaks
Taking countless hours of slow motion video
Watching countless hours of slow motion video
Do an honest assessment as to why the skills attempt failed
Rebuilding the intake
Test the drive
Rebuilding the worn out drive after unsuccessful drive test
Host a scrimmage
Repair damage from scrimmage
Build and rebuild (and rebuild) string launchers
Test string launchers (rebuild, test, rebuild, test)
Prepare a scouting strategy for the Tournament
Make the list of parts, tools, accessories you’ll need to take to the tournament
Travel to tournament
Run skills before the tournament begins
Fix your robot in the middle of the tournament
Remind your teammate who is on the verge of a breakdown to eat lunch and chill out
Rely on your teammate who has spent the entire day scouting matches to find the perfect partner for finals
And execute in Finals
In the end, there were no rock stars. No heroes. No All Stars.
Just the team.
They’re an amazing bunch of students, and I couldn’t be more proud of all of their hard work.