Posts Tagged ‘ 254s

Bellarmine VEX Regional

This past weekend, Bellarmine College Prep held its 3rd annual VEX Robotics regional. 51 teams from throughout the Bay Area flocked to Sobrato Theater to compete in the largest Northern California VEX Regional of all time. Thanks to Bellarmine’s generous funding, we were able to offer a registration price of only $25, much less than the usual $80. As a result, many more teams took the opportunity to participate in a competitive VEX regional.

Throughout the first semester, all 7 Cheesy Poof teams worked hard to design, assemble, test, and program their competition robots in preparation for this tournament. By January, our collective success was evident as team 254 won every VEX tournament that it attended this season (Merrill F. West High Regional, All Star Championship, Vanden High Regional, Pan Pacific Championship, and Cal High Regional).

In preparation for the tournament on Saturday, students and parents of team 254 gathered Friday afternoon to set up the robot pits in Liccardo Center and the tournament fields in Sobrato Theater. Bellarmine directed three competition fields (including one practice field in Liccardo), one of which was generously donated by our friends at Cal High in San Ramon and another by the president of the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and a founder of team 254, Jason Morella.

The tournament officially began at 7:30 AM on Saturday when all 51 teams piled into Liccardo and settled into their pits. By 10 AM, the judges had inspected all teams and the 4 hour block of qualification matches and skills challenges ensued ahead of schedule. Due to the size of the tournament, eliminations were run with 10 alliances of 3 instead of the usual 8. Team 254 was represented in alliance #2 with 254E, 254H, and 254D and in alliance #4 with 254B and 254A.

Both alliances breezed through quarterfinals but alliance #2 hit a setback as they lost the 2 out of 3 round in semis. By the final round, alliance #4 faced 3129A, 1935A, and 1000B. With 3 matches and dangerously close scores, 254B, 254A, and their partner 5203P took the tournament victory. Team 254H also won the Programming Skills award for the highest scoring autonomous route.

Tournament Awards
Champions: 254B, 254A, 5203P
Finalists: 3129A, 1935A, 1000B
Excellence: 3129A
Programming Skills: 254H
Robot Skills: 1000A
Amaze: 563
Judge’s Awards: 920A, 1935A

Team 254 would like to thank all our parents, students, volunteer judges, field coordinators, and our MC, Mark Leon, for making this tournament possible. Special thanks also go out to Mr. Gerhard Mueller, our tournament coordinator, for successfully running the Bellarmine VEX regional for the 3rd time in a row. Congratulations to all the teams for a great showing on Saturday and for making this a great tournament!

The Royal Blue

Team 254 in royal blue after the tournament. Go Poofs!

Update: Bellarmine’s VEX tournament was featured in the Local News section of the January 17th San Jose Mercury News. More pictures are available online at

Pan Pacific and Fairfield

This past weekend, the Bellarmine Robotics Team 254 once again stretched itself to the limit, entering two separate tournaments 3,000 miles apart.  At Fairfield, CA, 4 Bellarmine VEX Robotics teams competed in the 2nd annual Vanden High VEX Regional, waking up early for a 2 hour drive on Saturday morning. That afternoon, after several qualification matches which pinned Bellarmine teams against those of other schools in the Bay Area, the Cheesy Poofs came out as first seed, picking a second Cheesy Poof team in the alliance that eventually won the tournament, undefeated. Across the Pacific Ocean, three more 254 teams competed at the second largest VEX Robotics tournament in the world in Hawaii, the Pan Pacific VEX Championship, second only to the World Championship.  After a tough set of qualifications and 36 hours of continuous repairs on their robots, one of the the Cheesy Poof teams managed to seed third in their division.  Just like at Fairfield, this team selected another Bellarmine team along with team 2438B from Hawaii and fought through two divisions and 112 teams from around the world to win the championship.  After this successful weekend, Bellarmine successfully defended its winning titles at both tournaments for the second year in a row.

VEX Update

In light of their upcoming All-Stars tournament in Orlando, 254A has remodeled their robot, moving away from trying to hang, towards becoming a good scoring and descoring robot.

254B, C, D, E, H, and S are all getting ready for their upcoming tournaments at Fairfield and San Ramon:

254B has been trying to perfect an intake that surrounds rings, for easy scoring and descoring;

254C has recently moved on from perfecting their multi-directional drive base to an intake that involves grabbing the rings from the center;

254D has improved their four-bar linkage to accommodate their intake that manipulates the middle of the rings;

254E has been making subtle changes to their tournament-winning robot so they may descore even more easily than at the Tracy regional;

254H, after completing their drive base, has been working on a shifting mechanism to power their arm from their drive motors in an attempt to hang;

and 254S has taken the speedy approach with one of the fastest drive bases Vex has seen and an intake that has stirred debate through the team, which spurs new intake ideology.