After an exciting second half of round-robin action in St. Catharines, St. Mary’s was able to repair their power problem and had better results in the afternoon rounds, but drew weak partners and were able to secure only one more win for the afternoon, finishing the day in 52nd place, with a record of 2-6.
The CASS Huskybots removed their arm attachment and played the afternoon as a bulldozer, effectively pushing the scoring stars to assist in two wins in their final four matches, rising to 42nd overall with a 3-5 record.
The top northern team was the Lone Wolf team of Korah students, who posted their only loss in their final match after their very effective gripping hand broke a corner joint. This loss (their only round-robin loss in 8 tournaments over the season), dropped them to 4th overall at 7-1. They also finished in 4th place overall in the single-robot skills competition.
During the playoff draft, where the top 8 teams become team captains and choose their 2 playoff partner teams, Lone Wolf chose 11th place “Shocks” from Toronto and 35th place “Sketch” from St. Catharines. In a very exciting quarter-final, Lone Wolf’s 4th seed Alliance faced “Viking Robotics” and “The Dragons” from Brampton and Oakville’s “E-Bots”. They defeated their opponents 44-0 in the first match, but lost 11-50 in the second match, forcing a tie-breaker, which they won 47-2 to advance to the Semi Finals. In the Semi’s they handily defeated the 7th seeded alliance with scores of 39-8 and 50-3 to advance to the finals where they met the top seeded Alliance.
In the exciting Finals matchup, the Lone Wolf Alliance faced a powerhouse Alliance of the “Lancebotics” from Toronto, “Team Winston” from St. Catharines and Brampton’s “Viking Robotics – B”. However, Lone Wolf’s squad was unstoppable, and fought hard to win both matches 40-7 and then 64-15 – taking home the gold medal as the top Teamplay performance. This is the highest finish ever by a Northern Ontario team at this level of competition.
During the final awards presentations, Algoma District School Board’s Jonathan Budau was given the Provincial “Volunteer Of The Year”, in recognition for his efforts to create a district program that now has the largest per-capita participation of any robotics program in Canada, and possibly the World.
Then, to top off the evening awards, the Excellence Award was the final one to be announced; the overall tournament winner in all performance and judging categories combined, and the highest award given at this event. The winner? Lone Wolf Robotics, who now hold the title of top robotics team in Ontario.
So Lone Wolf will join the Missanabie pair of boys who earned a World Championships invitation in last weekend’s VEX IQ Provincial elementary event, and will mark the first time that any Northern team has earned a World invitation at either VEX robotics division. The World VEX Championships will take place in Louisville Kentucky from April 23rd to 29th, where it is expected that the top 550 IQ teams and 700 VRC teams will compete to be crowned the World Champions.