Mountain Man’s Summit: Week 4
What’s Going On This Week?
After a week-long break, events resume in the mountain region this week. Things are happenin’ and teams are competin’.
Colorado (Follow it here!):
Denver is usually a fun event to watch. At Week 4, most teams are usually at their best and ready for some intense competition. Lots of teams attending have already competed, with a good number of them getting to the eliminations. Most of the teams are from Colorado, with a Wyoming, the Dakotas, Texas and other states sending a number of teams as well. All of these different teams and regions are sure to help make for a great event.
The Biggest Teams to Watch:
1619 has already had a successful start to their season; going toe-to-toe with the Highrollers in the Utah finals and winning their first Engineering Inspiration Award since their rookie year. They have a promising shooting autonomous mode, and with further refinement they may hit 40 kPa this weekend. If Up-A-Creek is at the top of their game this weekend, they might just win the Colorado Regional for the third year in a row.
I must admit, I did not see 662 coming. They only climb and cycle gears, but they know how to play the game. They managed to beat teams like Up-A-Creek, Team Tators, and the Highrollers in the qualifications, seeding first in a highly contested event. They may have lost in the finals, but they still secured their first Championship ticket in eleven years. It’s been a long time since Rocky Mountain Robotics has been this good, and Denver offers them a great chance to make their comeback season an even better one. If gears and climbs continue to win the day, we may see them win their first regional since 2004.
2996 was a sturdy, competitive robot, and one that showed a lot of promise. They may have gone out in the quarterfinals, but they got better and better during the qualifications. Last year, Cougars Gone Wired was the second pick overall at Denver. This year, they have a good chance at captaining an alliance in the eliminations. I’m excited to see how they’ve improved and how they compete in Denver. They also were the EI recipients at Denver last year, and I’m hopeful they can win it again.
1011 was in the eliminations yet again, making a run to the semis in Flagstaff. Their off-the-floor gear pickup has been very useful for them, and they could be a captain or partner that takes an alliance deep into the playoffs. CRUSH showed at Arizona North that they are here to stay, and they want a second consecutive win at Colorado. If they improve their mechanisms and continue to play like they are, they may be destined for another regional win.
Other Teams to Watch:
It takes three robots to make an effective alliance, and 1339 contributed significantly in their alliance’s run to the finals. Angelbotics was able to lock up a Championship ticket for the second year in a row, and their autonomous gear in Utah was essential in getting their alliance to the finals. They’ll need to improve their gear mechanism and climber, but I can see them going far at Denver.
4499 is in an unfamiliar position: they haven’t yet qualified for worlds. After going out in the quarterfinals of Hub City, the Highlanders are hoping to be at their best for Denver. They’ve been finalists for two years in a row, and their robot shows a lot of promise. Tuning shooting and improving their gear mechanism will be key for them, but they have an excellent chance at a deep run this year. Also, they’ve won the Chairman’s Award for two years in a row now, and due their continued outreach they have a good chance at going for three.
3288 was a captain at Utah and also the captain of the finalist alliance in Denver last year. They went out in the Utah quarterfinals, but their robot is a capable competitor that has a lot of room to improve. If they can ensure their climber is at their best, they’re poised to make a run at the finals again this weekend.
4944 won their first ever Chairman’s Award in Salt Lake City last week, and they performed better than they ever have before. They were eliminated in the quarterfinals, but they were ranked 10th in the qualifications due to a reliable climb and a good gear mechanism. Improvement will be critical, but they may just be an alliance captain for the first time in their history this weekend.
Other Teams Competing This Week:
You’d think that fire and ice don’t go together, but they are in fact sister teams. 5480 and 5875 will be traveling to the Sacramento Regional to test their might against some of California’s best. Neither team made eliminations last year, but they both are filled with potential and promise. I’m hopeful for FYRE and ICE, and I hope they both do well.
For the second year in a row, 2486 will be headed back to California. They’ll be competing at the Los Angeles Regional after a solid start this season in Flagstaff, in which they were quarterfinalists and recipients of the Regional Engineering Inspiration Award. During their trip to San Diego last year, they won the event and picked up an RCA. I have confidence that the CocoNuts will do well in LA, and maybe even win yet another Chairman’s Award too.