24Z – the 2023 Maryland Middle School VEX VRC Champions

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

Driver practice

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



Then execute

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.

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