On Saturday, the 8th Grade VEX IQ team earned the top prize - the Excellence Award - at the Klondike MS Tournament. In a day where Sycamore had seven teams in a strong 36-team field, the 8th grade VEX team edged out Sycamore's 7th grade team and two Zionsville Middle School squads to claim the top prize. Team members include Alyssa Effland, Isabel Hargrove, Josh Irizarry, Alissa Weigand, and Owen Williams. The team was lauded by the judges for consistent performance across all competitions, a strong Engineering Notebook, and for their sportsmanship and dedication shown throughout the day. With the win, the team nailed down a bid to the State Championship held at Lucas Oil Stadium in March.
In Alliance (teamwork) runs with other squads, all five middle school level teams made the finals and finished in the top 10. The 7th grade team, made up of Mary Cudworth, Cooper Grabow, Erik Haggstrom, Oliver Seifert, and Kate Weigand, showed remarkable improvement from last year and steady consistency on Saturday to qualify and finish in a tie for third.
After finishing the qualifying sessions in 6th and building the only third-level tower of the day in the finals, the 8th grade squad was cheered on the last 20 seconds by a suddenly loud and boisterous crowd as they rallied to finish in a tie for 3rd.
In Driver's Skills and Programming, the 7th grade squad finished in 2nd overall, one point behind Zionsville and one point ahead of the 3rd place 8th grade Sycamore squad.
After building their robots and practicing in only a month, the 5th grade team had the top two overall skills scores amongst 4th and 5th grade teams in the single division tournament.
The teams next compete on Saturday, December 1, when they host Sycamore's inaugural VEX IQ state qualifying tournament. The 42-team field contains defending state champion, Heritage Christian, and two consistently top 10 Cornerstone Robotics squads.