Teams log lots of miles for competitionsIn the Lake Superior and Northern Lights Regionals robotics competition, teams hail from all over. But which teams came the farthest?
By: Ihra Gomez, Bryan Hartand Kenzie Allison, Duluth News Tribune
In the Lake Superior and Northern Lights Regionals robotics competition, teams hail from all over. But which teams came the farthest?
That honor is bestowed on Team Rush from Clarkston High School in Clarkston, Mich., which traveled 666 miles.
Saber Robotics from Franklin, Wis., and Swartdogs from Cedar Falls, Iowa, also made a long haul. And the Wisconsin team’s trip was thrown an extra challenge.
Teams often travel between five and seven hours. The cost of transporting 30 to 40 students and their mentors on buses and staying at hotels can climb to about $4,000.
Saber Robotics packed up to leave their southeastern Wisconsin city about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. When they were near the Dells, the team heard an abnormal sound. One of their tires had blown out.
“I didn’t know it happened until I started smelling burning rubber,” said Dave Erdmann, Saber Robotics coach.
The team was stranded in Wisconsin Dells for two hours waiting for a repair.
“We played Pictionary and did a lot of looking up jokes online,” said senior Laura Laid Law, 18, a member of the Saber Robotics.
The team was not settled in Duluth until 12:30 a.m. Thursday.
Sometimes teams go to great lengths to get to their competition venue. Five years ago, Blue Twilight from Eagan, Minn., competed at the World Championship in Atlanta. One of the mentors’ dads worked for an airline and, as a result, she had the privilege of free luggage.
“We put our pit (equipment) and a lot of our tools in her suitcase,” said Jenny Filipi, a Blue Twilight mentor. “She traveled separately by standby and probably had four pieces of large luggage.”
There are challenges of traveling that far, though it is not all bad.
“Music, weird conversations, junk food, meeting new teams, mascot dances, winning awards and many more memories were, and will always be, worth the seven-hour ride the team takes every year,” said Margaret Guderyon, Saber Robotics faculty adviser.
Ihra Gomez and Bryan Hart are members of the Eagan High School Blue Twilight robotics team. Kenzie Allison is a senior at Duluth East.